Tenascin-R (J1 160/180) inhibits fibronectin-mediated cell adhesion - Functional relatedness to tenascin-C

Penka Pesheva, Rainer Probstmeier, Amy P.N. Skubitz, James B. McCarthy, Leo T. Furcht, Melitta Schachner

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62 Scopus citations


Cell adhesion and neurite outgrowth on fibronectin is a multistep process modulated by different extra- and intracellular signals. Fibronectin-mediated cell attachment and spreading can be affected in a negative way by tenascin-C, an extracellular matrix glycoprotein expressed in a temporally and spacially restricted manner during early morphogenesis. Tenascin-R (J1-160/180), consisting of two major isoforms of 160 kDa (tenascin-R 160) and 180 kDa (tenascin-R 180) in mammals, is an extracellular matrix glycoprotein of the central nervous system that shares high structural homologies with tenascin-C. Here we show that in relation to fibronectin-mediated adhesion, the two extracellular matrix molecules are also functionally closely related. When offered as mixed substrata with other extracellular matrix molecules, the two tenascin-R isoforms and tenascin-C derived from mouse brain selectively inhibit fibronectin-dependent cell adhesion and neurite outgrowth, and affect cell morphology of different mesenchymal and neural cells. This effect is partially due to interactions at the substrate level that result in a steric hindrance and/or conformational change of the cell binding sites of the fibronectin molecule. In addition, tenascin-R 180 and tenascin-C interact with cells by an RGD- and β1 integrin-independent mechanism, leading to cell rounding and detachment from such substrata. The expression of tenascin-R and tenascin-C in the nervous system at times and locations where fibronectin-mediated cellular processes take place may be related to the role of inhibitory signals in the extracellular matrix in the regulation of cell migration and differentiation in general.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2323-2333
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of cell science
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1994


  • Cell adhesion
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Fibroblast
  • Fibronectin
  • Inhibitory substrate
  • Neurite outgrowth
  • Tenascin
  • β integrin


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