Specific induction of cell motility on laminin by alpha 7 integrin

Frank Echtermeyer, Stefan Schöber, Ernst Pöschl, Helga von der Mark, Klaus von der Mark

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Laminin, the major glycoprotein of basement membranes, actively supports cell migration in development, tissue repair, tumor growth, metastasis, and other pathological processes. Previously we have shown that the locomotion of murine skeletal myoblasts is specifically and significantly enhanced on laminin but not on other matrix proteins. One of the major laminin receptors of myoblasts is the alpha 7 beta 1 integrin, which was first described in human MeWo melanoma cells and Rugli glioblastoma cells. In order to investigate and directly test the role of the alpha 7 integrin in cell migration on laminin, we expressed the murine alpha 7B splice variant in human 293 kidney cells and 530 melanoma cells which cannot migrate on laminin and are devoid of endogenous alpha 7. Northern blotting of the transfected cells showed that the alpha 7 mRNA was expressed efficiently, and the protein was detected on the cell surface by immunofluorescence and fluorescence-activated cell sorter analysis. Cell motility measurements by computer-assisted time-lapse videomicroscopy of the alpha 7-transfected cells revealed an 8-10-fold increase in motility on laminin-1 and its E8 fragment, but not on fibronectin. Mock-transfected cells did not migrate significantly of alpha 7-transfected 293 cells through laminin-coated filters in a Boyden chamber assay was significantly enhanced in comparison to mock transfected cells. These findings prove that alpha 7 integrin expression confers a gain of function-motile phenotype to immobile cells and may be responsible for transduction of the laminin-induced cell motility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2071-5
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jan 1996


  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Movement
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Humans
  • Integrin alpha Chains
  • Laminin
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Video Recording

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