This paper identifies a neuronal receptor for tenascin-C (tenascin/cytotactin), an extracellular matrix protein that has previously been detected in developing sensory and motor neuron pathways and has been shown to regulate cell migration in the developing CNS. Antibodies specific for each subunit of the integrin asp, are used to demonstrate that α8β1 mediates neurite outgrowth of embryonic sensory and motor neurons on this extracellular matrix protein. In addition, expression of α8 in K562 cells results in surface expression of α8β1 heterodimers that are shown to promote attachment of this cell line to tenascin. The major domain in tenascin that mediates neurite outgrowth is shown to be localized to fibronectin type III repeats 6-8.
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