Demonstration of catch bonds between an integrin and its ligand

  • Kong F
  • García A
  • Mould A
 et al. 
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Binding of integrins to ligands provides anchorage and signals for the cell, making them prime candidates for mechanosensing molecules. How force regulates integrin-ligand dissociation is unclear. We used atomic force microscopy to measure the force-dependent lifetimes of single bonds between a fibronectin fragment and an integrin alpha(5)beta(1)-Fc fusion protein or membrane alpha(5)beta(1). Force prolonged bond lifetimes in the 10-30-pN range, a counterintuitive behavior called catch bonds. Changing cations from Ca(2+)/Mg(2+) to Mg(2+)/EGTA and to Mn(2+) caused longer lifetime in the same 10-30-pN catch bond region. A truncated alpha(5)beta(1) construct containing the headpiece but not the legs formed longer-lived catch bonds that were not affected by cation changes at forces

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  • Fang Kong

  • Andrés J. García

  • A. Paul Mould

  • Martin J. Humphries

  • Cheng Zhu

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