Real-time analysis of the inside-out regulation of lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 revealed similarities to and differences from very late antigen-4.
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Ten years ago, we introduced a fluorescent probe that shed light on the inside-out regulation of one of the major leukocyte integrins, very late antigen-4 (VLA-4, CD49d/CD29). Here we describe the regulation of another leukocyte integrin, lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 (LFA-1, CD11a/CD18) using a novel small fluorescent probe in real time on live cells. We found that multiple signaling mechanisms regulate LFA-1 conformation in a manner analogous to VLA-4. LFA-1 can be rapidly activated by G?(i)-coupled G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and deactivated by G?(s)-coupled GPCRs. The effects of G?(s)-coupled GPCR agonists can be reversed in real time by receptor-specific antagonists. The specificity of the fluorescent probe binding has been assessed in a competition assay using the natural LFA-1 ligand ICAM-1 and the LFA-1-specific ? I allosteric antagonist BIRT0377. Similar to VLA-4 integrin, modulation of the ligand dissociation rate can be observed for different LFA-1 affinity states. However, we also found a striking difference in the binding of the small fluorescent ligand. In the absence of inside-out activation ligand, binding to LFA-1 is extremely slow, at least 10 times slower than expected for diffusion-limited binding. This implies that an additional structural mechanism prevents ligand binding to inactive LFA-1. We propose that such a mechanism explains the inability of LFA-1 to support cell rolling, where the absence of its rapid engagement by a counterstructure in the inactive state leads to a requirement for a selectin-mediated rolling step.