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Integrin α3β1–dependent β-catenin phosphorylation links epithelial Smad signaling to cell contacts

By Young Kim, Matthias C. Kugler, Ying Wei, Kevin K. Kim, Xiaopeng Li, Alexis N. Brumwell and Harold A. Chapman

Abstract

Injury-initiated epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) depends on contextual signals from the extracellular matrix, suggesting a role for integrin signaling. Primary epithelial cells deficient in their prominent laminin receptor, α3β1, were found to have a markedly blunted EMT response to TGF-β1. A mechanism for this defect was explored in α3-null cells reconstituted with wild-type (wt) α3 or point mutants unable to engage laminin 5 (G163A) or epithelial cadherin (E-cadherin; H245A). After TGF-β1 stimulation, wt epithelial cells but not cells expressing the H245A mutant internalize complexes of E-cadherin and TGF-β1 receptors, generate phospho-Smad2 (p-Smad2)–pY654–β-catenin complexes, and up-regulate mesenchymal target genes. Although Smad2 phosphorylation is normal, p-Smad2–pY654–β-catenin complexes do not form in the absence of α3 or when α3β1 is mainly engaged on laminin 5 or E-cadherin in adherens junctions, leading to attenuated EMT. These findings demonstrate that α3β1 coordinates cross talk between β-catenin and Smad signaling pathways as a function of extracellular contact cues and thereby regulates responses to TGF-β1 activation

Topics: Research Articles
Publisher: The Rockefeller University Press
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:2654298
Provided by: PubMed Central
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