"Integrin alpha Chains" is a descriptor in the National Library of Medicine's controlled vocabulary thesaurus,
MeSH (Medical Subject Headings). Descriptors are arranged in a hierarchical structure,
which enables searching at various levels of specificity.
The alpha subunits of integrin heterodimers (INTEGRINS), which mediate ligand specificity. There are approximately 18 different alpha chains, exhibiting great sequence diversity; several chains are also spliced into alternative isoforms. They possess a long extracellular portion (1200 amino acids) containing a MIDAS (metal ion-dependent adhesion site) motif, and seven 60-amino acid tandem repeats, the last 4 of which form EF HAND MOTIFS. The intracellular portion is short with the exception of INTEGRIN ALPHA4.
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