Identification of amino acid residues that form part of the ligand-binding pocket of integrin alpha5 beta1

A P Mould, L Burrows, M J Humphries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Arg-Arg-Glu-Thr-Ala-Trp-Ala (RRETAWA) is a novel ligand peptide for integrin alpha5 beta1, which blocks alpha5 beta1-mediated cell adhesion to fibronectin (Koivunen, E., Wang, B., and Ruoslahti, E. (1994) J. Cell Biol. 124, 373-380). Here we have localized the binding site for RRETAWA on alpha5 beta1 using inhibitory monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and site-directed mutagenesis. A cyclic peptide containing this sequence (*CRRETAWAC*) had little effect on the binding of most anti-alpha5 and anti-beta1 mAbs to alpha5 beta1 but completely blocked binding of the anti-alpha5 mAb 16 in a directly competitive manner. Hence, the binding site of RRETAWA appears to closely overlap with the epitope of mAb 16. *CRRETAWAC* also acted as a direct competitive inhibitor of the binding of Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD)-containing fibronectin fragments to alpha5 beta1, suggesting that the binding site for RRETAWA is also closely overlapping with that for RGD. However, differences between the binding sites of RRETAWA and RGD were apparent in that (i) RGD peptides allosterically inhibited the binding of mAb 16 to alpha5 beta1, and (ii) several mAbs that perturbed binding of alpha5 beta1 to RGD had little effect on binding of alpha5 beta1 to RRETAWA. A double mutation in alpha5 (S156G/W157S) blocked the interaction of both RRETAWA and mAb 16 with alpha5 beta1 but had no effect on fibronectin binding or on the binding of other anti-alpha5 mAbs. Ser156-Trp157 is located near the apex of a putative loop region on the upper surface of a predicted beta-propeller structure formed by the NH2-terminal repeats of alpha5. Our findings suggest that this sequence forms part of the ligand-binding pocket of alpha5 beta1. Furthermore, as Ser156-Trp157 is unique to the alpha5 subunit, it may be responsible for the specific recognition of RRETAWA by alpha5 beta1.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25664-72
Number of pages9
JournalThe Journal of biological chemistry
Issue number40
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 1998


  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Binding Sites
  • Binding, Competitive
  • Cations, Divalent
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Epitopes
  • Fibronectins
  • Humans
  • Ligands
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed
  • Mutation
  • Oligopeptides
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Protein Binding
  • Receptors, Fibronectin
  • Sequence Alignment


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