Cell-matrix interactions are critical for tumor cell migration. Lutheran (Lu), also known as basal cell adhesion molecule (B-CAM), competes with integrins for binding to laminin α5, a subunit of LM-511, a major component of basement membranes. Here we show that the preferential binding of Lu/B-CAM to laminin α5 promotes tumor cell migration. The attachment of Lu/B-CAM transfectants to LM-511 was slightly weaker than that of control cells, and this was because Lu/B-CAM disturbed integrin binding to laminin α5. Lu/B-CAM induced a spindle cell shape with pseudopods and promoted cell migration on LM-511. In addition, blocking with an anti-Lu/B-CAM antibody led to a flat cell shape and inhibited migration on LM-511, similar to the effects of an activating integrin β1 antibody. We conclude that tumor cell migration on LM-511 requires that Lu/B-CAM competitively modulates cell attachment through integrins. We suggest that this competitive interaction is involved in a balance between static and migratory cell behaviors.
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