Mol. Biol. Cell, vol. 10, issue March (1999) pp. 785-798
Integrin-mediated cell adhesion to extracellular matrices provides signals essential for cell cycle progression and differentiation. We demonstrate that substrate-dependent changes in the conformation of adsorbed fibronectin (Fn) modulated integrin binding and controlled switching between proliferation and differentiation. Adsorption of Fn onto bacterial polystyrene (B), tissue culture polystyrene (T), and collagen (C) resulted in differences in Fn conformation as indicated by antibody binding. Using a biochemical method to quantify bound integrins in cultured cells, we found that differences in Fn conformation altered the quantity of bound a5 and b1 integrin subunits but not av or b3. C2C12 myoblasts grown on these Fn-coated substrates proliferated to different levels (B . T . C). Immunostaining for muscle-specific myosin revealed minimal differentiation on B, significant levels on T, and extensive differentiation on C. Differentiation required binding to the RGD cell binding site in Fn and was blocked by antibodies specific for this site. Switching between proliferation and differentiation was controlled by the levels of a5b1 integrin bound to Fn, and differentiation was inhibited by anti-a5, but not anti-av, antibodies, suggesting distinct integrin-mediated signaling pathways. Control of cell proliferation and differentiation through conformational changes in extracellular matrix proteins represents a versatile mechanism to elicit specific cellular responses for biological and biotechnological applications.
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