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1.  Carbon monoxide down-regulates α4β1 integrin-specific ligand binding and cell adhesion: a possible mechanism for cell mobilization 
BMC Immunology  2014;15(1):52.
Background
Carbon monoxide (CO), a byproduct of heme degradation, is attracting growing attention from the scientific community. At physiological concentrations, CO plays a role as a signal messenger that regulates a number of physiological processes. CO releasing molecules are under evaluation in preclinical models for the management of inflammation, sepsis, ischemia/reperfusion injury, and organ transplantation. Because of our discovery that nitric oxide signaling actively down-regulates integrin affinity and cell adhesion, and the similarity between nitric oxide and CO-dependent signaling, we studied the effects of CO on integrin signaling and cell adhesion.
Results
We used a cell permeable CO releasing molecule (CORM-2) to elevate intracellular CO, and a fluorescent Very Late Antigen-4 (VLA-4, α4β1-integrin)-specific ligand to evaluate the integrin state in real-time on live cells. We show that the binding of the ligand can be rapidly down-modulated in resting cells and after inside-out activation through several Gαi-coupled receptors. Moreover, cell treatment with hemin, a natural source of CO, resulted in comparable VLA-4 ligand dissociation. Inhibition of VLA-4 ligand binding by CO had a dramatic effect on cell-cell interaction in a VLA-4/VCAM-1-dependent cell adhesion system.
Conclusions
We conclude that the CO signaling pathway can rapidly down-modulate binding of the VLA-4 -specific ligand. We propose that CO-regulated integrin deactivation provides a basis for modulation of immune cell adhesion as well as rapid cell mobilization, for example as shown for splenic monocytes in response to surgically induced ischemia of the myocardium.
doi:10.1186/s12865-014-0052-1
PMCID: PMC4221689  PMID: 25367365
Carbon monoxide; Hemin; Integrin; Affinity; Conformation; Cell adhesion
2.  Nitric oxide/cGMP pathway signaling actively down-regulates α4β1-integrin affinity: an unexpected mechanism for inducing cell de-adhesion 
BMC Immunology  2011;12:28.
Background
Integrin activation in response to inside-out signaling serves as the basis for rapid leukocyte arrest on endothelium, migration, and mobilization of immune cells. Integrin-dependent adhesion is controlled by the conformational state of the molecule, which is regulated by seven-transmembrane Guanine nucleotide binding Protein-Coupled Receptors (GPCRs). α4β1-integrin (CD49d/CD29, Very Late Antigen-4, VLA-4) is expressed on leukocytes, hematopoietic progenitors, stem cells, hematopoietic cancer cells, and others. VLA-4 conformation is rapidly up-regulated by inside-out signaling through Gαi-coupled GPCRs and down-regulated by Gαs-coupled GPCRs. However, other signaling pathways, which include nitric oxide-dependent signaling, have been implicated in the regulation of cell adhesion. The goal of the current report was to study the effect of nitric oxide/cGMP signaling pathway on VLA-4 conformational regulation.
Results
Using fluorescent ligand binding to evaluate the integrin activation state on live cells in real-time, we show that several small molecules, which specifically modulate nitric oxide/cGMP signaling pathway, as well as a cell permeable cGMP analog, can rapidly down-modulate binding of a VLA-4 specific ligand on cells pre-activated through three Gαi-coupled receptors: wild type CXCR4, CXCR2 (IL-8RB), and a non-desensitizing mutant of formyl peptide receptor (FPR ΔST). Upon signaling, we detected rapid changes in the ligand dissociation rate. The dissociation rate after inside-out integrin de-activation was similar to the rate for resting cells. In a VLA-4/VCAM-1-specific myeloid cell adhesion system, inhibition of the VLA-4 affinity change by nitric oxide had a statistically significant effect on real-time cell aggregation.
Conclusions
We conclude that nitric oxide/cGMP signaling pathway can rapidly down-modulate the affinity state of the VLA-4 binding pocket, especially under the condition of sustained Gαi-coupled GPCR signaling, generated by a non-desensitizing receptor mutant. This suggests a fundamental role of this pathway in de-activation of integrin-dependent cell adhesion.
doi:10.1186/1471-2172-12-28
PMCID: PMC3125286  PMID: 21586157
3.  Galphas-coupled receptor signaling actively down-regulates α4β1-integrin affinity: A possible mechanism for cell de-adhesion 
BMC Immunology  2008;9:26.
Background
Activation of integrins in response to inside-out signaling serves as a basis for leukocyte arrest on endothelium, and migration of immune cells. Integrin-dependent adhesion is controlled by the conformational state of the molecule (i.e. change in the affinity for the ligand and molecular unbending (extension)), which is regulated by seven-transmembrane Guanine nucleotide binding Protein-Coupled Receptors (GPCRs). α4β1-integrin (CD49d/CD29, Very Late Antigen-4, VLA-4) is expressed on leukocytes, hematopoietic stem cells, hematopoietic cancer cells, and others. Affinity and extension of VLA-4 are both rapidly up-regulated by inside-out signaling through several Gαi-coupled GPCRs. The goal of the current report was to study the effect of Gαs-coupled GPCRs upon integrin activation.
Results
Using real-time fluorescent ligand binding to assess affinity and a FRET based assay to probe α4β1-integrin unbending, we show that two Gαs-coupled GPCRs (H2-histamine receptor and β2-adrenergic receptor) as well as several cAMP agonists can rapidly down modulate the affinity of VLA-4 activated through two Gαi-coupled receptors (CXCR4 and FPR) in U937 cells and primary human peripheral blood monocytes. This down-modulation can be blocked by receptor-specific antagonists. The Gαs-induced responses were not associated with changes in the expression level of the Gαi-coupled receptors. In contrast, the molecular unbending of VLA-4 was not significantly affected by Gαs-coupled GPCR signaling. In a VLA-4/VCAM-1-specific myeloid cell adhesion system, inhibition of the VLA-4 affinity change by Gαs-coupled GPCR had a statistically significant effect upon cell aggregation.
Conclusion
We conclude that Gαs-coupled GPCRs can rapidly down modulate the affinity state of VLA-4 binding pocket through a cAMP dependent pathway. This plays an essential role in the regulation of cell adhesion. We discuss several possible implications of this described phenomenon.
doi:10.1186/1471-2172-9-26
PMCID: PMC2442041  PMID: 18534032

Results 1-3 (3)