Identification of two distinct regions of the type III connecting segment of human plasma fibronectin that promote cell type-specific adhesion

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The principal region of the human plasma fibronectin molecule mediating the adhesion of melanoma cells appears to be the alternatively spliced type III connecting segment (IIICS (Humphries, M.J., Akiyama, S.K., Komoriya, A., Olden, K., and Yamada, K.M. (1986a) J. Cell Biol., in press)). A series of overlapping synthetic peptides spanning the entire IIICS (CS peptides) were examined for their effects on B16-F10 melanoma cell adhesion to the parent fibronectin molecule. Two nonadjacent CS peptides, designated CS1 and CS5, were inhibitory. In contrast, neither inhibited fibronectin-mediated spreading of fibroblastic baby hamster kidney cells. When N-terminal cysteine derivatives of the CS peptides were conjugated to IgG by covalent cross-linking with N-succinimidyl-3(2-pyridyldithio)propionate, both the CS1 and CS5 conjugates promoted B16-F10 melanoma cell spreading. All conjugates were inactive for spreading of baby hamster kidney cells, confirming the cell type specificity of the IIICS adhesion site. Determination of the amounts of CS peptide required to support melanoma cell adhesion revealed that the activity of CS1 was only 2.4-fold lower than that of the intact fibronectin molecule. CS5 was approximately 320-fold less active than fibronectin, suggesting that the CS1 region may be the major site of interaction with the melanoma cell surface. The adhesion-promoting activities of CS1-IgG and CS5-IgG were additive as were the inhibitory activities of the free peptides for B16-F10 cell spreading on fibronectin. These findings suggest that both regions of the IIICS can function separately or together in mediating the interaction of melanoma cells with fibronectin. Since CS1 and CS5 are each found in separate alternatively spliced regions of the IIICS, it is conceivable that the adhesion-promoting activity of fibronectin for different cell types may be under complex regulation.

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