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OBJECTIVE - Platelets express the α2β1 integrin and the glycoprotein VI (GPVI)/FcRγ complex, both collagen receptors. Understanding platelet-collagen receptor function has been enhanced through use of genetically modified mouse models. Previous studies of GPVI/FcRγ-mediated collagen-induced platelet activation were perfomed with mice in which the FcRγ subunit was genetically deleted (FcRγ-/-) or the complex was depleted. The development of α2β1-/- and GPVI-/- mice permits side-by-side comparison to address contributions of these collagen receptors in vivo and in vitro.
APPROACH AND RESULTS - To understand the different roles played by the α2β1 integrin, the GPVI receptor or FcRγ subunit in collagen-stimulated hemostasis and thrombosis, we compared α2β1-/-, FcRγ-/-, and GPVI-/- mice in models of endothelial injury and intravascular thrombosis in vivo and their platelets in collagen-stimulated activation in vitro. We demonstrate that both the α2β1 integrin and the GPVI receptor, but not the FcRγ subunit influence carotid artery occlusion in vivo. In contrast, the GPVI receptor and the FcRγ chain, but not the α2β1 integrin, play similar roles in intravascular thrombosis in response to soluble Type I collagen. FcRγ-/- platelets showed less attenuation of tyrosine phosphorylation of several proteins including RhoGDI when compared to GPVI-/- and wild type platelets. The difference between FcRγ-/- and GPVI-/- platelet phosphotyrosine levels correlated with the in vivo thrombosis findings.
CONCLUSION - Our data demonstrate that genetic deletion of GPVI receptor, FcRγ chain, or the α2β1 integrin changes the thrombotic potentials of these platelets to collagen dependent on the stimulus mechanism. The data suggest that the FcRγ chain may provide a dominant negative effect through modulating signaling pathways in platelets involving several tyrosine phosphorylated proteins such as RhoGDI. In addition, these findings suggest a more complex signaling network downstream of the platelet collagen receptors than previously appreciated.
The α2β1 integrin, also known as VLA-2, GPIa-IIa, CD49b, was first identified as an extracellular matrix receptor for collagens and/or laminins [55, 56]. It is now recognized that the α2β1 integrin serves as a receptor for many matrix and nonmatrix molecules [35, 79, 128]. Extensive analyses have clearly elucidated the α2 I domain structural motifs required for ligand binding, and also defined distinct conformations that lead to inactive, partially active or highly active ligand binding [3, 37, 66, 123, 136, 137, 140]. The mechanisms by which the α2β1 integrin plays a critical role in platelet function and homeostasis have been carefully defined via in vitro and in vivo experiments [76, 104, 117, 125]. Genetic and epidemiologic studies have confirmed human physiology and disease states mediated by this receptor in immunity, cancer, and development [6, 20, 21, 32, 43, 90]. The role of the α2β1 integrin in these multiple complex biologic processes will be discussed in the chapter.
PURPOSE - The α2β1 integrin plays an important but complex role in angiogenesis and vasculopathies. Published GWAS studies established a correlation between genetic polymorphisms of the α2β1 integrin gene and incidence of diabetic retinopathy. Recent studies indicated that α2-null mice demonstrate superior vascularization in both the wound and diabetic microenvironments. The goal of this study was to determine whether the vasculoprotective effects of α2-integrin deficiency extended to the retina, using the oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR) model for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP).
METHODS - In the OIR model, wild-type (WT) and α2-null mice were exposed to 75% oxygen for 5 days (postnatal day [P] 7 to P12) and subsequently returned to room air for 6 days (P12-P18). Retinas were collected at postnatal day 7, day 13, and day 18 and examined via hematoxylin and eosin and Lectin staining. Retinas were analyzed for retinal vascular area, neovascularization, VEGF expression, and Müller cell activation. Primary Müller cell cultures from WT and α2-null mice were isolated and analyzed for hypoxia-induced VEGF-A expression.
RESULTS - In the retina, the α2β1 integrin was minimally expressed in endothelial cells and strongly expressed in activated Müller cells. Isolated α2-null primary Müller cells demonstrated decreased hypoxia-induced VEGF-A expression. In the OIR model, α2-null mice displayed reduced hyperoxia-induced vaso-attenuation, reduced pathological retinal neovascularization, and decreased VEGF expression as compared to WT counterparts.
CONCLUSIONS - Our data suggest that the α2β1 integrin contributes to the pathogenesis of retinopathy. We describe a newly identified role for α2β1 integrin in mediating hypoxia-induced Müller cell VEGF-A production.
Copyright 2014 The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Inc.
Mesangial cells and podocytes express integrins α1β1 and α2β1, which are the two major collagen receptors that regulate multiple cellular functions, including extracellular matrix homeostasis. Integrin α1β1 protects from glomerular injury by negatively regulating collagen production, but the role of integrin α2β1 in renal injury is unclear. Here, we subjected wild-type and integrin α2-null mice to injury with adriamycin or partial renal ablation. In both of these models, integrin α2-null mice developed significantly less proteinuria and glomerulosclerosis. In addition, selective pharmacological inhibition of integrin α2β1 significantly reduced adriamycin-induced proteinuria, glomerular injury, and collagen deposition in wild-type mice. This inhibitor significantly reduced collagen synthesis in wild-type, but not integrin α2-null, mesangial cells in vitro, demonstrating that its effects are integrin α2β1-dependent. Taken together, these results indicate that integrin α2β1 contributes to glomerular injury by positively regulating collagen synthesis and suggest that its inhibition may be a promising strategy to reduce glomerular injury and proteinuria.
Expression of the α2β1 integrin, a receptor for collagens and laminin, is altered during tumor progression. Recent studies have linked polymorphisms in the α2 integrin gene with oral, squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). To determine the α2β1 integrin's role in SCC progression, we crossed α2-null mice with K14-HPV16 transgenic animals. Pathological progression to invasive carcinoma was evaluated in HPV-positive, α2-null (HPV/KO) and HPV-positive, wild-type (HPV/WT) animals. α2β1 integrin expression stimulated progression from hyperplasia and papillomatosis to dysplasia with concomitant dermal mast cell infiltration. Moreover, lymph node metastasis was decreased by 31.3% in HPV/KO, compared to HPV/WT, animals. To evaluate the integrin-specific impact on the malignant epithelium versus the microenvironment, we developed primary tumor cell lines. Although transition from dysplasia to carcinoma was unaltered during spontaneous tumor development, isolated primary HPV/KO SCC cell lines demonstrated decreased migration and invasion, compared to HPV/WT cells. When HPV/WT and HPV/KO SCC cells were orthotopically injected into WT or KO hosts, tumor α2β1 integrin expression resulted in decreased tumor latency, regardless of host integrin status. HPV/WT SCC lines failed to demonstrate a proliferative advantage in vitro, however, the HPV/WT tumors demonstrated increased growth compared to HPV/KO SCC lines in vivo. Although contributions of the integrin to the microenvironment cannot be excluded, our studies indicate that α2β1 integrin expression by HPV-transformed keratinocytes modulates SCC growth and progression.
Mast cells, critical mediators of inflammation and anaphylaxis, are poised as one of the first lines of defense against external assault. Mast cells release several classes of preformed and de novo synthesized mediators. Cross-linking of the high-affinity FcεRI results in degranulation and the release of preformed, proinflammatory mediators including histamine and serotonin. We previously demonstrated that mast cell activation by Listeria monocytogenes requires the α2β1 integrin for rapid IL-6 secretion both in vivo and in vitro. However, the mechanism of IL-6 release is unknown. Here, we demonstrate the Listeria- and α2β1 integrin-mediated mast cell release of preformed IL-6 without the concomitant release of histamine or β-hexosaminidase. α2β1 integrin-dependent mast cell activation and IL-6 release is calcium independent. In contrast, IgE cross-linking-mediated degranulation is calcium dependent and does not result in IL-6 release, demonstrating that distinct stimuli result in the release of specific mediator pools. These studies demonstrate that IL-6 is presynthesized and stored in connective tissue mast cells and can be released from mast cells in response to distinct, α2β1 integrin-dependent stimulation, providing the host with a specific innate immune response without stimulating an allergic reaction.
Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.
OBJECTIVE - The hypothesis that high-fat (HF) feeding causes skeletal muscle extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling in C57BL/6J mice and that this remodeling contributes to diet-induced muscle insulin resistance (IR) through the collagen receptor integrin α(2)β(1) was tested.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - The association between IR and ECM remodeling was studied in mice fed chow or HF diet. Specific genetic and pharmacological murine models were used to study effects of HF feeding on ECM in the absence of IR. The role of ECM-integrin interaction in IR was studied using hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamps on integrin α(2)β(1)-null (itga2(-/-)), integrin α(1)β(1)-null (itga1(-/-)), and wild-type littermate mice fed chow or HF. Integrin α(2)β(1) and integrin α(1)β(1) signaling pathways have opposing actions.
RESULTS - HF-fed mice had IR and increased muscle collagen (Col) III and ColIV protein; the former was associated with increased transcript, whereas the latter was associated with reduced matrix metalloproteinase 9 activity. Rescue of muscle IR by genetic muscle-specific mitochondria-targeted catalase overexpression or by the phosphodiesterase 5a inhibitor, sildenafil, reversed HF feeding effects on ECM remodeling and increased muscle vascularity. Collagen remained elevated in HF-fed itga2(-/-) mice. Nevertheless, muscle insulin action and vascularity were increased. Muscle IR in HF-fed itga1(-/-) mice was unchanged. Insulin sensitivity in chow-fed itga1(-/-) and itga2(-/-) mice was not different from wild-type littermates.
CONCLUSIONS - ECM collagen expansion is tightly associated with muscle IR. Studies with itga2(-/-) mice provide mechanistic insight for this association by showing that the link between muscle IR and increased collagen can be uncoupled by the absence of collagen-integrin α(2)β(1) interaction.
Integrins regulate cell-cell and cell-matrix adhesion and thereby play critical roles in tumor progression and metastasis. Although work in preclinical models suggests that β1 integrins may stimulate metastasis of a number of cancers, expression of the β1 subunit alone has not been shown to be a useful prognostic indicator in human cancer patients. Here we have demonstrated that the α2β1 integrin suppresses metastasis in a clinically relevant spontaneous mouse model of breast cancer. These data are consistent with previous studies indicating high expression of α2β1 integrin in normal breast epithelium and loss of α2β1 in poorly differentiated breast cancer. They are also consistent with our systematic analysis of microarray databases of human breast and prostate cancer, which revealed that decreased expression of the gene encoding α2 integrin, but not genes encoding α1, α3, or β1 integrin, was predictive of metastatic dissemination and decreased survival. The predictive value of α2 expression persisted within both good-risk and poor-risk cohorts defined by estrogen receptor and lymph node status. Thus, the α2β1 integrin functionally inhibits breast tumor metastasis, and α2 expression may serve as an important biomarker of metastatic potential and patient survival.
Inhalational anthrax is initiated by pulmonary exposure to Bacillus anthracis spores. Spore entry into lung epithelial cells is observed both in vitro and in vivo and evidence suggests it is important for bacterial dissemination and virulence. However the specific host receptor and spore factor that mediate the entry process were unknown. Here, we report that integrin α2β1 is a major receptor for spore entry. This is supported by results from blocking antibodies, siRNA knock-down, colocalization, and comparison of spore entry into cells that do or do not express α2. BclA, a major spore surface protein, is found to be essential for entry and α2β1-mediated entry is dependent on BclA. However, BclA does not appear to bind directly to α2. Furthermore, spore entry into α2-expressing cells is dramatically reduced in the absence of serum, suggesting that additional factors are involved. Finally, complement component C1q, also an α2β1 ligand, appears to act as a bridging molecule or a cofactor for BclA/α2β1-mediated spore entry and BclA binds to C1q in a dose-dependent and saturable manner. These findings suggest a novel mechanism for pathogen entry into host cells as well as a new function for C1q-integrin interactions. The implications of these findings are discussed.
© 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Thrombin and fibrillar collagen are potent activators of platelets at sites of vascular injury. Both agonists cause platelet shape change, granule secretion, and aggregation to form the primary hemostatic plug. Human platelets express two thrombin receptors, protease-activated receptors 1 and 4 (PAR1 and PAR4) and two collagen receptors, the alpha(2)beta(1) integrin (alpha(2)beta(1)) and the glycoprotein VI (GPVI)/FcRgamma chain complex. Although these receptors and their signaling mechanisms have been intensely studied, it is not known whether and how these receptors cooperate in the hemostatic function of platelets. This study examined cooperation between the thrombin and collagen receptors in platelet adhesion by utilizing a collagen-related peptide (alpha2-CRP) containing the alpha(2)beta(1)-specific binding motif, GFOGER, in conjunction with PAR-activating peptides. We demonstrate that platelet adhesion to alpha2-CRP is substantially enhanced by suboptimal PAR activation (agonist concentrations that do not stimulate platelet aggregation) using the PAR4 agonist peptide and thrombin. The enhanced adhesion induced by suboptimal PAR4 activation was alpha(2)beta(1)-dependent and GPVI/FcRgamma-independent as revealed in experiments with alpha(2)beta(1)- or FcRgamma-deficient mouse platelets. We further show that suboptimal activation of other platelet G(q)-linked G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) produces enhanced platelet adhesion to alpha2-CRP. The enhanced alpha(2)beta(1)-mediated platelet adhesion is controlled by phospholipase C (PLC), but is not dependent on granule secretion, activation of alpha(IIb)beta(3) integrin, or on phosphoinositol-3 kinase (PI3K) activity. In conclusion, we demonstrate a platelet priming mechanism initiated by suboptimal activation of PAR4 or other platelet G(q)-linked GPCRs through a PLC-dependent signaling cascade that promotes enhanced alpha(2)beta(1) binding to collagens containing GFOGER sites.