RGD(Arg-Gly-Asp) -cell adhesion signal

RGD (Arg-Gly-Asp) – A Cell Adhesion Signal

Cells require interaction with surrounding cells, extracellular matrix (ECM), and other surroundings for the maintenance of normal physiological functions. Cells use specific molecular signals to adhere to other cells and ECM. One such signaling molecule that mediates adhesion to ECM is RGD (Arg-Gly-Asp).

RGD is a small peptide derived from ECM glycoproteins such as fibronectin, vitronectin, and laminin. The three amino acid sequence of RGD is -Arginine-Glycine-Aspartate-, which is crucial for mediating interactions between cells and ECM. RGD has been found to bind to two types of cell receptors, integrins, and discoidin domain receptor 1 (DDR1).

Role of RGD in Integrin-Mediated Cell Adhesion

Integrins are a family of transmembrane receptors that mediate cell adhesion to ECM. The integrin receptors alpha and beta form heterodimers that bind to specific amino acid sequences in ECM proteins. Among these sequences, RGD is the best-characterized and is required for the integrin-mediated adhesion of cells to ECM.

The RGD motif in ECM proteins binds to the integrin heterodimer, leading to a conformational change in the integrin. This conformational change leads to the exposure of an active site on the integrin, which can bind to intracellular cytoskeleton proteins. This allows the cells to adhere to the ECM and facilitates further signaling events to occur, resulting in cell migration, proliferation, and differentiation.

Role of RGD in DDR1-Mediated Cell Adhesion

DDR1 is a type of tyrosine kinase receptor that is activated when bound to collagen or fibrillar matrices. DDR1 has been shown to bind to RGD sequences, promoting cell adhesion.

RGD-mediated DDR1 signaling is also involved in the regulation of biological processes such as cell proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, and collagen deposition.


In summary, RGD is an important cell adhesion signal that plays a significant role in mediating cell-ECM interactions. The RGD motif in ECM glycoproteins is recognized by both integrin and DDR1 receptors, resulting in cell adhesion, migration, and signaling necessary for crucial physiological processes.