The collecting system of the kidney develops from the ureteric bud (UB), which undergoes branching morphogenesis, a process regulated by multiple factors, including integrin-extracellular matrix interactions. The laminin (LM)-binding integrin α3β1 is crucial for this developmental program; however, the LM types and LM/integrin α3β1-dependent signaling pathways are poorly defined. We show that α3 chain-containing LMs promote normal UB branching morphogenesis and that LM-332 is a better substrate than LM-511 for stimulating integrin α3β1-dependent collecting duct cell functions. We demonstrate that integrin α3β1-mediated cell adhesion to LM-332 modulates Akt activation in the developing collecting system and that Akt activation is PI3K independent but requires decreased PTEN activity and K63-linked polyubiquitination. We identified the ubiquitin-modifying enzyme TRAF6 as an interactor with the integrin β1 subunit and regulator of integrin α3β1-dependent Akt activation. Finally, we established that the developmental defects of TRAF6- and integrin α3-null mouse kidneys are similar. Thus K63-linked polyubiquitination plays a previously unrecognized role in integrin α3β1-dependent cell signaling required for UB development and may represent a novel mechanism whereby integrins regulate signaling pathways.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology