Endothelial cells exhibit binding sites for the amino terminus of fibronectin that participate in subendothelial fibronectin matrix assembly. These binding sites, termed matrix assembly sites, are localized on the basolateral surface of confluent endothelial monolayers (Kowalczyk et al. Blood, 75:2335, 1990). The present study investigates the role of cell—cell and cell—substratum interactions in the localization of matrix assembly sites to the basal surface of endothelial cells. Cells were cultured in Transwell culture inserts and matrix assembly sites were detected by binding assays using an iodinated 70 Kd amino‐terminal fibronectin fragment. Integrity of intercellular junctions was monitored by measuring protein flux across Transwell filters. Time course experiments demonstrated that matrix assembly site expression on the basolateral cell surface preceded intercellular junction formation. Transfer of confluent monolayers to calcium‐free medium resulted in the loss of junctions and in an increase in 125I‐70 kD binding from the apical medium. The increased 125I‐70 kD binding resulted from increased access of 125I‐70 kD to basolateral matrix assembly sites and not from the relocation of binding sites to the apical membrane. To determine the effect of matrix composition on matrix assembly site expression and localization, cells were seeded onto vitronectin‐ or fibronectin‐coated substrates. Fibronectin increased the expression of matrix assembly sites on the apical surface within 24 hours. By 48 hours, matrix assembly sites were located only on the basolateral surface. Vitronectin had no effect on the expression or localization of matrix assembly sites. These results indicate that the expression and localization of matrix assembly sites on the surface of vascular endothelial cells can be regulated by substratum fibronectin. © 1992 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Cell Biology