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Laminins are a major constituent of the basement membranes of the kidney collecting system. Integrins, transmembrane receptors formed by non-covalently bound α and β subunits, serve as laminin receptors, but their role in development and homeostasis of the kidney collecting system is poorly defined. Integrin α3β1, one of the major laminin receptors, plays a minor role in kidney collecting system development, while the role of α6 containing integrins (α6β1 and α6β4), the other major laminin receptors, is unknown. Patients with mutations in α6 containing integrins not only develop epidermolysis bullosa, but also have abnormalities in the kidney collecting system. In this study, we show that selectively deleting the α6 or β4 integrin subunits at the initiation of ureteric bud development in mice does not affect morphogenesis. However, the collecting system becomes dilated and dysmorphic as the mice age. The collecting system in both null genotypes was also highly susceptible to unilateral ureteric obstruction injury with evidence of excessive tubule dilatation and epithelial cell apoptosis. Mechanistically, integrin α6-null collecting duct cells are unable to withstand high mechanical force when adhered to laminin. Thus, we conclude that α6 integrins are important for maintaining the integrity of the kidney collecting system by enhancing tight adhesion of the epithelial cells to the basement membrane. These data give a mechanistic explanation for the association between kidney collecting system abnormalities in patients and epidermolysis bullosa.
Copyright © 2017 International Society of Matrix Biology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Inner medullary collecting ducts (IMCD) are terminally differentiated structures derived from the ureteric bud (UB). UB development is mediated by changes in the temporal and spatial expression of integrins and their respective ligands. We demonstrate both in vivo and in vitro that the UB expresses predominantly laminin receptors (alpha3beta1-, alpha6beta1-, and alpha6beta(4-integrins), whereas the IMCD expresses both collagen (alpha1beta1- and alpha2beta1-integrins) and laminin receptors. Cells derived from the IMCD, but not the UB, undergo tubulogenesis in collagen-I (CI) gels in an alpha1beta1- and alpha2beta1-dependent manner. UB cells transfected with the alpha2-integrin subunit undergo tubulogenesis in CI, suggesting that collagen receptors are required for branching morphogenesis in CI. In contrast, both UB and IMCD cells undergo tubulogenesis in CI/Matrigel gels. UB cells primarily utilize alpha3beta1- and alpha6-integrins, whereas IMCD cells mainly employ alpha1beta1 for this process. These results demonstrate a switch in integrin expression from primarily laminin receptors in the early UB to both collagen and laminin receptors in the mature IMCD, which has functional consequences for branching morphogenesis in three-dimensional cell culture models. This suggests that temporal and spatial changes in integrin expression could help organize the pattern of branching morphogenesis of the developing collecting system in vivo.
Branching morphogenesis of the ureteric bud (UB) [induced by the metanephric mesenchyme (MM)] is necessary for normal kidney development. The role of integrins in this complex developmental process is not well understood. However, the recent advent of in vitro model systems to study branching of UB cells and isolated UB tissue makes possible a more detailed analysis of the integrins involved. We detected integrin subunits alpha3, alpha6, beta1, and beta4 in both the UB and cells derived from the early UB. Blocking the function of each of these integrin subunits individually markedly inhibited branching morphogenesis in cell culture models. However, inhibiting individual integrin function with blocking antibodies in whole kidney and isolated UB culture only partially inhibited UB branching morphogenesis, suggesting that, in these more complex in vitro systems, multiple integrins are involved in the branching program. In whole organ and isolated bud culture, marked retardation of UB branching was observed only when both alpha3 and alpha6 integrin subunits were inhibited. The alpha6 integrin subunit can be expressed as both alpha6beta1 and alpha6beta4, and both of these beta subunits are important for UB branching morphogenesis in both cell and organ culture. Furthermore, laminin-5, a common ligand for integrins alpha3beta1 and alpha6beta4, was detected in the developing UB and shown to be required for normal UB branching morphogenesis in whole embryonic kidney organ culture as well as isolated UB culture. Together, these data from UB cell culture, organ culture, and isolated UB culture models indicate that both integrin alpha3 and alpha6 subunits play a direct role in UB branching morphogenesis, as opposed to being modulators of the inductive effects of mesenchyme on UB development. Furthermore the data are consistent with a role for laminin-5, acting through its alpha3beta1 and/or alpha6beta4 integrin receptors, in UB branching during nephrogenesis. These data may help to partially explain the renal phenotype seen in integrin alpha3 and alpha3/alpha6 subunit-deficient animals.
Copyright 2001 Academic Press.
It is well established that integrins and extracellular matrix (ECM) play key roles in cell migration, but the underlying mechanisms are poorly defined. We describe a novel mechanism whereby the integrin alpha 6 beta 1, a laminin receptor, can affect cell motility and induce migration onto ECM substrates with which it is not engaged. By using DNA-mediated gene transfer, we expressed the human integrin subunit alpha 6A in murine embryonic stem (ES) cells. ES cells expressing alpha 6A (ES6A) at the surface dimerized with endogenous beta 1, extended numerous filopodia and lamellipodia, and were intensely migratory in haptotactic assays on laminin (LN)-1. Transfected alpha 6A was responsible for these effects, because cells transfected with control vector or alpha 6B, a cytoplasmic domain alpha 6 isoform, displayed compact morphology and no migration, like wild-type ES cells. The ES6A migratory phenotype persisted on fibronectin (Fn) and Ln-5. Adhesion inhibition assays indicated that alpha 6 beta 1 did not contribute detectably to adhesion to these substrates in ES cells. However, anti-alpha 6 antibodies completely blocked migration of ES6A cells on Fn or Ln-5. Control experiments with monensin and anti-ECM antibodies indicated that this inhibition could not be explained by deposition of an alpha 6 beta 1 ligand (e.g., Ln-1) by ES cells. Cross-linking with secondary antibody overcame the inhibitory effect of anti-alpha 6 antibodies, restoring migration or filopodia extension on Fn and Ln-5. Thus, to induce migration in ES cells, alpha 6A beta 1 did not have to engage with an ECM ligand but likely participated in molecular interactions sensitive to anti-alpha 6 beta 1 antibody and mimicked by cross-linking. Antibodies to the tetraspanin CD81 inhibited alpha 6A beta 1-induced migration but had no effect on ES cell adhesion. It is known that CD81 is physically associated with alpha 6 beta 1, therefore our results suggest a mechanism by which interactions between alpha 6A beta 1 and CD81 may up-regulate cell motility, affecting migration mediated by other integrins.
Here we identified several new integrin/TM4 protein complexes on the cell surface. By immunoprecipitation using nonstringent conditions, and by reciprocal immunoprecipitation, we found that alpha 3 beta 1 and alpha 6 beta 1 integrins but not alpha 2 beta 1, alpha 5 beta 1, or alpha 6 beta 4 integrins associated with CD9 and CD81 in alpha 3 beta 1/CD81, alpha 3 beta 1/CD9, alpha 6 beta 1/CD81, and alpha 6 beta 1/CD9 complexes. Also, cross-linking experiments established that alpha 3 beta 1/CD81, alpha 3 beta 1/CD9, and alpha 3 beta 1/CD63 associations occur on the surface of intact cells and suggested that a critical interaction site is located within extracellular domains. Cross-linking in conjunction with reimmunoprecipitation indicated that larger multi-component alpha 3 beta 1/TM4/TM4 complexes (alpha 3 beta 1/CD9/CD63, alpha 3 beta 1/CD81/CD63, and alpha 3 beta 1/CD9/CD81) also could be detected on the cell surface. Immunofluorescent staining showed redistribution of alpha 3 beta 1/TM4 complexes toward the periphery of cells plated on various extracellular matrix substrates and also showed that these complexes were localized in cell footprints. Staining of human tissues yielded additional results consistent with co-localization of alpha 3 beta 1 and CD9, CD63, and CD81 proteins. In conclusion we suggest that the prevalence of integrin/TM4 complexes in diverse cellular environments is indicative of their general physiological importance.
In developing and regenerating peripheral nerve, Schwann cells interact with axons and extracellular matrix in order to ensheath and myelinate axons. Both of these interactions are likely to be mediated by adhesion molecules, including integrins, which mediate cell-cell and cell-extracellular matrix interactions. Recently, the beta 4 integrin subunit was reported to be expressed by Schwann cells in peripheral nerve. We have examined the expression of beta 4, beta 1 and their common heterodimeric partner, the alpha 6 integrin subunit, in developing and regenerating rat peripheral nerve. beta 4 and alpha 6 are enriched in peripheral nerve and they co-localize at the abaxonal surface of myelinating Schwann cells, opposite the Schwann cell basal lamina, which contains possible ligands of alpha 6 beta 4. In contrast, beta 4 and alpha 6 are expressed in a different pattern in non-myelinating Schwann cells. The level of beta 4, but not alpha 6 or beta 1 mRNAs, increases progressively in developing nerves, reaching a peak in adult nerves well after the peak of the myelin-specific mRNAs. After axotomy, the expression of beta 4 mRNA and protein, but not alpha 6 or beta 1 mRNAs, fall rapidly but subsequently are reinduced by regenerating axons. Similarly, in cultured Schwann cells, the expression of beta 4 mRNA, but not alpha 6 mRNA, is significantly modulated by forskolin, a drug that elevates cAMP and mimics some of the effects of axonal contact. beta 4 integrin expression in Schwann cells, therefore, is regulated by Schwann cell-axon interactions, which are known to be critical in determining the Schwann cell phenotype. Furthermore, the polarized expression of alpha 6 beta 4 to the abaxonal surface of myelinating Schwann cells suggests that alpha 6 beta 4 may mediate in part the morphological changes required of Schwann cells in the process of myelination in the peripheral nervous system.
In epithelial cells integrins are segregated on discrete domains of the plasma membrane. Redistribution may also occur during migration or differentiation. However, little is known about the mechanisms that control such redistribution. Receptor internalization may be a part of one such mechanism. We developed a quantitative assay and measured internalization of two epithelial integrin heterodimers, alpha 6 beta 1 and alpha 6 beta 4, induced by cross-linking with specific antibodies. alpha 6 beta 1 is a receptor for EHS laminin, while alpha 6 beta 4 is a receptor for a component of the basement membrane. alpha 6 beta 4 plays an important role in the establishment of hemidesmosomes, and becomes redistributed on the epithelial cell surface when cells are in a migratory phase. We report that alpha 6 beta 4 is efficiently internalized in human keratinocytes. More than 25% of cell surface alpha 6 beta 4 was internalized at 30 minutes, after cross-linking with A9, an anti-beta 4 monoclonal antibody. alpha 6 beta 1 is also internalized, in melanoma and teratocarcinoma cells, with maximum values of 20% of total receptors expressed at the cell surface. No significant difference was observed between the alpha 6 isoforms A and B in these assays. To determine whether alpha 6 cytoplasmic domains could influence integrin endocytosis, we prepared chimeric constructs with the extracellular domain of a reporter protein (CD8), and the cytoplasmic domains of either alpha 6 A or alpha 6 B. Both alpha 6 cytoplasmic domains but not a control cytoplasmic domain promoted internalization of the chimeric proteins, after cross-linking with antibody. Internalization of alpha 6 integrins may have a role in redistributing these receptors at the cell surface. Furthermore, the cytoplasmic domains of alpha 6 may be involved in regulating integrin internalization.