Structures and interactions of the leukocyte-specific integrins cytoplasmic tails
Chua, Geok Lin
Date of Issue2013
School of Biological Sciences
Integrins are devoid of enzymatic activity but yet are involved in almost all aspects of mammalian physiology. Their unique bidirectional signal transduction property can enable them to continuously sense changes in their extracellular environment and respond rapidly through conformational changes that modulates their affinity for extracellular ligands. This continuous sense and response system mediated by integrin molecules is a quintessential property of the mammalian immune system, which requires leukocytes circulating in the high pressure enclosed blood vascular system to respond to minuscule changes in the release of cytokines during an immunological event. This process requires leukocytes to rapidly change from non-adhesive, symmetrical cells to highly adhesive asymmetric cells to attach to the vascular walls amid the high pressure blood flow, followed by progressive migration via adept modulation of specific integrins towards the site of injury.