The human leukocyte adhesion glycoprotein Mac-1 (complement receptor type 3, CD11b) alpha subunit. Cloning, primary structure, and relation to the integrins, von Willebrand factor and factor B. Academic Article uri icon


  • Mac-1 (CD 11b/CD18) is a leukocyte adhesion heterodimeric glycoprotein which functions both as a receptor for iC3b (CR3) and in several cell-cell and cell-substrate adhesive interactions. We describe full-length cDNA clones for the alpha subunit of Mac-1. Mac-1 alpha subunit message was detected in blood monocytes and phorbol-12-myristate acetate-induced myeloid cell lines, but not in cells of the T or B lineages, correlating with Mac-1 protein surface expression. The alpha subunit of Mac-1 is a transmembrane protein of 1137 residues with a long extracellular domain (1092 residues) and a 19-amino acid cytoplasmic tail. The extracellular domain contains three putative divalent cation-binding sequences and 19 potential N-glycosylation sites. The amino acid sequence of Mac-1 alpha shows that it is a member of the integrin superfamily; Mac-1 alpha shows 63% identity to the alpha subunit of the leukocyte adhesion glycoprotein p150.95 and 25% to the alpha subunits of the extracellular matrix receptors platelet glycoprotein IIb/IIIa, the fibronectin receptor, and the vitronectin receptor. The Mac-1 alpha subunit putative divalent cation-binding sites and the flanking regions exhibit a high degree of identity both to the p150.95 alpha subunit (87% identity at the amino acid level) and to the rest of the integrin alpha subunits (38%). The alpha subunit of Mac-1, like the p150.95 alpha subunit, contains a domain of 187 amino acids in the extracellular region which is absent in other integrins. This leukocyte or "L" domain is homologous to the A domains of von Willebrand factor, which in turn are homologous to regions of the C3-binding proteins factor B and C2. These findings draw attention to this region of Mac-1 as a potential binding site for iC3b.

publication date

  • September 5, 1988

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