The integrin PSI domain has an endogenous thiol isomerase function and is a novel target for antiplatelet therapy.
Author: Guangheng Zhu
Integrins are a large family of heterodimeric transmembrane receptors differentially expressed on almost all metazoan cells. Integrin β subunits contain a highly conserved plexin-semaphorin-integrin (PSI) domain. The CXXC motif, the active site of the protein-disulfide-isomerase (PDI) family, is expressed twice in this domain of all integrins across species. However, the role of the PSI domain in integrins and whether it contains thiol-isomerase activity have not been explored. Here, recombinant PSI domains of murine β3, and human β1 and β2 integrins were generated and their PDI-like activity was demonstrated by refolding of reduced/denatured RNase. We identified that both CXXC motifs of β3 integrin PSI domain are required to maintain its optimal PDI-like activity. Cysteine substitutions (C13A and C26A) of the CXXC motifs also significantly decreased the PDI-like activity of full-length human recombinant β3 subunit. We further developed mouse anti-mouse β3 PSI domain monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) that cross-react with human and other species. These mAbs inhibited αIIbβ3 PDI-like activity and its fibrinogen binding. Using single-molecular Biomembrane-Force-Probe assays, we demonstrated that inhibition of αIIbβ3 endogenous PDI-like activity reduced αIIbβ3-fibrinogen interaction, and these anti-PSI mAbs inhibited fibrinogen binding via different levels of both PDI-like activity-dependent and -independent mechanisms. Importantly, these mAbs inhibited murine/human platelet aggregation in vitro and ex vivo, and murine thrombus formation in vivo, without significantly affecting bleeding time or platelet count. Thus, the PSI domain is a potential regulator of integrin activation and a novel target for antithrombotic therapies. These findings may have broad implications for all integrin functions, and cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions.