Within the Ig superfamily (IgSF), intercellular adhesion molecules (ICAMs) form a subfamily that binds the leukocyte integrin alphaLbeta2. We report a 1.65-A-resolution crystal structure of the ICAM-3 N-terminal domain (D1) in complex with the inserted domain, the ligand-binding domain of alphaLbeta2. This high-resolution structure and comparisons among ICAM subfamily members establish that the binding of ICAM-3 D1 onto the inserted domain represents a common docking mode for ICAM subfamily members. The markedly different off-rates of ICAM-1, -2, and -3 appear to be determined by the hydrophobicity of residues that surround a metal coordination bond in the alphaLbeta2-binding interfaces. Variation in composition of glycans on the periphery of the interfaces influences on-rate.
The crystal structures of the glycosylated N-terminal two domains of ICAM-1 and ICAM-2 provided a framework for understanding the role of glycosylation in the structure and function of intercellular adhesion molecules (ICAMs). The most conserved glycans were less flexible in the structures, interacting with protein residues and contributing to receptor folding and expression. The first N-linked glycan in ICAM-2 contacts an exposed tryptophan residue, defining a conserved glycan-W motif critical for the conformation of the integrin binding domain. The absence of this motif in human ICAM-1 exposes regions used in receptor dimerization and rhinovirus recognition. Experiments with soluble molecules having the N-terminal two domains of human ICAMs identified glycans of the high mannose type N-linked to the second domain of the dendritic cell-specific ICAM-grabbing nonintegrin lectin-ligands ICAM-2 and ICAM-3. About 40% of those receptor molecules bear endoglycosidase H sensitive glycans responsible of the lectin binding activity. High mannose glycans were absent in ICAM-1, which did not bind to the lectin, but they appeared in ICAM-1 mutants with additional N-linked glycosylation and lectin binding activity. N-Linked glycosylation regulate both conformation and immune related functions of ICAM receptors.
Residues important in the interaction between the 23-residue transmembrane (TM) domains of the integrin alpha(IIb)- and beta(3)-subunits were identified by mutating each non-Leu residue to Leu. Leu substitutions of alpha(IIb) at G972, G976, and T981, and of beta(3) at I693 and G708, increased ligand binding. Substitutions with other amino acids at alpha(IIb)G972 and beta(3)G708 could also increase ligand binding. The results are consistent with and extend the helical interface between the integrin alpha- and beta-subunit TM domains previously defined by cysteine scanning and disulfide bond formation. We differentiated between affinity- and valency-based modes of activation by TM domain mutations. The mutant alpha(IIb) W967C forms disulfide-linked alpha(IIb)-subunits within an (alpha(IIb)beta(3))(2) tetramer. This tetramer behaved as an ideal model for the valency mode of regulation, because it exhibited significantly increased binding to multivalent but not monovalent ligands and basally retained the bent conformation. By contrast, the activating Leu mutants showed increased binding to the monovalent, ligand-mimetic PAC-1 Fab and increased exposure of ligand-induced binding site (LIBS) epitopes, suggesting that they partially adopt an extended conformation. Furthermore, the previously described beta(3)G708N mutation in Chinese hamster ovary cells enhanced ligand binding affinity, not valency, and did not alter cell-surface clustering as defined by confocal microscopy. Our studies provide evidence that disrupting the integrin heterodimeric TM helix-helix interface activates ligand binding mainly by increasing the monomeric affinity for ligand, but not the receptor valency, i.e., clustering.
The structural integrity of tissue proteins is damaged in processes ranging from remodeling of the extracellular matrix to destruction by microbial pathogens. Leukocytes play a prominent role in tissue surveillance and repair. However, it remains enigmatic what features of structurally decayed proteins prompt recognition by leukocyte cell-surface receptors. Here, we report that adhesion of human neutrophil granulocytes to fibrinogen is greatly increased by plasmin digestion in a mode where alphaXbeta2 dominates the integrin-dependent binding. The bacterial protease subtilisin also enhances binding by alphaXbeta2. The alphaX ligand binding domain has an unusually high affinity for carboxyl groups, with KD at approximately 100 microM. Our findings implicate enhanced accessibility of negatively charged residues in structurally decayed proteins as a pattern recognition motif for alphaXbeta2 integrin. Comparisons among integrins show relevance of these findings to the large number of ligands recognized by alphaMbeta2 and alphaXbeta2 but not alphaLbeta2. The observations suggest that the pericellular proteolysis at the leading edge of neutrophils not only facilitates passage through the extracellular matrix but also manufactures binding sites for alphaXbeta2.
The leukocyte integrin alphaLbeta2 mediates cell adhesion and migration during inflammatory and immune responses. Ligand binding of alphaLbeta2 is regulated by or induces conformational changes in the inserted (I) domain. By using a micropipette, we measured the conformational regulation of two-dimensional (2D) binding affinity and the kinetics of cell-bound intercellular adhesion molecule-1 interacting with alphaLbeta2 or isolated I domain expressed on K562 cells. Locking the I domain into open and intermediate conformations with a disulfide bond increased the affinities by approximately 8000- and approximately 30-fold, respectively, from the locked closed conformation, which has similar affinity as the wild-type I domain. Most surprisingly, the 2D affinity increases were due mostly to the 2D on-rate increases, as the 2D off-rates only decreased by severalfold. The wild-type alphaLbeta2, but not its I domain in isolation, could be up-regulated by Mn2+ or Mg2+ to have high affinities and on-rates. Locking the I domain in any of the three conformations abolished the ability of divalent cations to regulate 2D affinity. These results indicate that a downward displacement of the I domain C-terminal helix, induced by conformational changes of other domains of the alphaLbeta2, is required for affinity and on-rate up-regulation.