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Pérez-Moreno, J.J., Espina-Zambrano, A.G., García-Calderón, C.B., Estrada, B. (2017). Kon-tiki enhances PS2 integrin adhesion and localizes its ligand, Thrombospondin, in the myotendinous junction.  J. Cell Sci. 130(5): 950--962.
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Cell-extracellular-matrix adhesion is mediated by cell receptors, mainly integrins and transmembrane proteoglycans, which can functionally interact. How these receptors are regulated and coordinated is largely unknown. We show that the conserved transmembrane Drosophila proteoglycan Kon-tiki (Kon, also known as Perdido) interacts with the αPS2βPS integrin (αPS2 is encoded by inflated and βPS by myospheroid) to mediate muscle-tendon adhesion. kon and inflated double mutant embryos show a synergistic increase in muscle detachment. Furthermore, Kon modulates αPS2βPS signaling at the muscle attachment, since phosphorylated Fak is reduced in kon mutants. This reduction in integrin signaling can be rescued by the expression of a truncated Kon protein containing its transmembrane and extracellular domains, suggesting that these domains are sufficient to mediate this signaling. We show that these domains are sufficient to properly localize the αPS2βPS ligand, Thrombospondin, to the muscle attachment, and to partially rescue Kon-dependent muscle-tendon adhesion. We propose that Kon can engage in a protein complex with αPS2βPS and enhance integrin-mediated signaling and adhesion by recruiting its ligand, which would increase integrin-binding affinity to the extracellular matrix, resulting in the consolidation of the myotendinous junction.

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    J. Cell Sci.
    Journal of Cell Science
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