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A number of cytoskeletal-associated proteins that are concentrated in focal contacts, namely alpha-actinin, vinculin, talin, and integrin, have been shown to interact in vitro such that they suggest a potential link between actin filaments and the membrane. Because some of these interactions are of low affinity, we suspect the additional linkages also exist. Therefore, we have used a synthetic peptide corresponding to the cytoplasmic domain of beta 1 integrin and affinity chromatography to identify additional integrin-binding proteins. Here we report our finding of an interaction between the cytoplasmic domain of beta 1 integrin and the actin-binding protein alpha-actinin. Beta 1- integrin cytoplasmic domain peptide columns bound several proteins from Triton extracts of chicken embryo fibroblasts. One protein at approximately 100 kD was identified by immunoblot analysis as alpha- actinin. Solid phase binding assays indicated that alpha-actinin bound specifically and directly to the beta 1 peptide with relatively high affinity. Using purified heterodimeric chicken smooth muscle integrin (a beta 1 integrin) or the platelet integrin glycoprotein IIb/IIIa complex (a beta 3 integrin), binding of alpha-actinin was also observed in similar solid phase assays, albeit with a lower affinity than was seen using the beta 1 peptide. alpha-Actinin also bound specifically to phospholipid vesicles into which glycoprotein IIb/IIIa had been incorporated. These results lead us to suggest that this integrin-alpha- actinin linkage may contribute to the attachment of actin filaments to the membrane in certain locations.