Identification and characterization of a novel extracellular matrix protein nephronectin that is associated with integrin α8β1 in the embryonic kidney

Ralph Brandenberger, Andrea Schmidt, James Linton, Denan Wang, Carey Backus, Sumiko Denda, Ullrich Müller, L. F. Reichardt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The epithelial-mesenchymal interactions required for kidney organogenesis are disrupted in mice lacking the integrin α8β1. None of this integrin's known ligands, however, appears to account for this phenotype. To identify a more relevant ligand, a soluble integrin α8β1 heterodimer fused to alkaline phosphatase (AP) has been used to probe blots and cDNA libraries. In newborn mouse kidney extracts, α8β1-AP detects a novel ligand of 70-90 kD. This protein, named nephronectin, is an extracellular matrix protein with five EGF-like repeats, a mucin region containing a RGD sequence, and a COOH-terminal MAM domain. Integrin α8β1 and several additional RGD-binding integrins bind nephronectin. Nephronectin mRNA is expressed in the ureteric bud epithelium, whereas α8β1 is expressed in the metanephric mesenchyme. Nephronectin is localized in the extracellular matrix in the same distribution as the ligand detected by α8β1-AP and forms a complex with α8β1 in vivo. Thus, these results strongly suggest that nephronectin is a relevant ligand mediating α8β1 function in the kidney. Nephronectin is expressed at numerous sites outside the kidney, so it may also have wider roles in development. The approaches used here should be generally useful for characterizing the interactions of novel extracellular matrix proteins identified through genomic sequencing projects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)447-458
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Volume154
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 23 2001

Keywords

  • Extracellular matrix
  • Integrin
  • Kidney
  • Nephronectin
  • Organogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology

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