alpha(4)beta(1) Integrin activation of L-type calcium channels in vascular smooth muscle causes arteriole vasoconstriction. Academic Article uri icon


  • A pathway for the regulation of vascular tone appears to involve coupling between integrins and extracellular matrix proteins or their fragments and the subsequent modulation of ion movement across the smooth muscle cell membrane. Here, we report that the activation of L-type voltage-activated Ca(2+) channels occurs through a novel interaction of alpha(4)beta(1) integrin with peptides containing the Leu-Asp-Val (LDV) integrin--binding sequence, which is found in the CS-1 region of an alternately spliced fibronectin variant. Experiments were conducted on arterioles isolated from rat skeletal muscle. Arterioles exhibited sustained concentration-dependent vasoconstriction to LDV peptides but not to Leu-Glu-Val (LEV) control peptides. The constriction was associated with increased smooth muscle cell [Ca(2+)](i), as measured by using fura 2. The response could be inhibited with a function-blocking anti--alpha(4) integrin antibody. Removal of the endothelium did not alter the vasoconstrictor response. Further experiments demonstrated that the vasoconstriction was abolished by the L-type Ca(2+) channel inhibitor nifedipine and the Src family kinase inhibitor PP2. In studies of isolated smooth muscle cells using whole-cell patch-clamp methods, the L-type current was enhanced by the LDV but not LEV peptide and was blocked by PP2 or antibodies to alpha(4) integrin. Collectively, these data indicate that activation of alpha(4)beta(1) integrin leads to enhanced influx of Ca(2+) through L-type channels by activating a tyrosine kinase pathway, leading to vasoconstriction. Involvement of integrins in the modulation of vascular tone may be particularly important in vascular responses to mechanical signals, such as pressure and flow, and to tissue injury after damage to the extracellular matrix.

published proceedings

  • Circ Res

altmetric score

  • 6

author list (cited authors)

  • Waitkus-Edwards, K. R., Martinez-Lemus, L. A., Wu, X., Trzeciakowski, J. P., Davis, M. J., Davis, G. E., & Meininger, G. A.

citation count

  • 95

complete list of authors

  • Waitkus-Edwards, Kelli R||Martinez-Lemus, Luis A||Wu, Xin||Trzeciakowski, Jerome P||Davis, Michael J||Davis, George E||Meininger, Gerald A

publication date

  • January 2002