Mapping regions of the β1 integrin cytoplasmic domain involved in migration and survival in primary oligodendrocyte precursors using cell-permeable homeopeptides

Philip C. Buttery, Chandike M. Mallawaarachchi, Richard Milner, Patrick Doherty, Charles Ffrench-Constant

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The mapping of regions within integrin cytoplasmic domains responsible for the different effects on cell behaviour is an important part of an analysis of integrin-mediated signalling. In order to facilitate this analysis in primary cells, we have used cell-permeable homeopeptides to deliver sequences mimicking parts of the integrin β1 cytoplasmic domain into the cell. In a study using oligodendrocyte precursors, the cells that give rise to myelin-forming oligodendrocytes during CNS development, we show that these peptides can be used to manipulate β1 integrin signalling and that the regions of the cytoplasmic domain involved in migration and survival are distinct. Peptides mimicking the N-terminal portion of the cytoplasmic domain previously implicated in binding to Focal Adhesion Kinase (FAK) induce apoptosis, while peptides mimicking more C-terminal sequences do not cause cell death. In contrast they show that the NPIY sequence, the N-terminal one of two NPXY motifs previously implicated in signalling, is involved in migration. Peptides containing this sequence promote migration while alteration of NPIY to NPIA makes the peptide inhibitory to migration. Our results show that these peptides represent a novel approach to integrin signalling that allow rapid definition of critical cytoplasmic sequences in primary cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-127
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 1999


  • Apoptosis
  • Cell-permeable peptide
  • FAK
  • FGF-2
  • Integrins
  • Migration
  • Myelin
  • NPXY motif
  • Oligodendrocyte precursor
  • PDGF

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