Influence of type I collagen surface density on fibroblast spreading, motility, and contractility.
We have examined the interaction of soluble plasma [3H]fibronectin with fibroblastic cells in suspension. Fibronectin labeled by reductive methylation binds to baby hamster kidney cells in serum-free medium in a time-dependent manner at 4, 22, and 37 degrees C, with half-maximal binding occurring in 12-15 min at 22 degrees C. The binding is saturable and reversible. At least 90% of the cell-associated fibronectin is external to the plasma membrane, as judged by trypsin susceptibility of the bound radioactivity. Scatchard analysis of the concentration dependence of binding indicates the presence of a single class of binding sites, even at low input concentrations of fibronectin. There are approximately 5 +/- 1 X 10(5) sites/cell with an apparent dissociation constant of 8.0 +/- 0.5 X 10(-7) M; thus, the binding of soluble fibronectin to these cells is of moderate affinity. This putative fibroblast fibronectin receptor is resistant to trypsin in the presence of physiological concentrations of divalent cations but is susceptible to trypsin in the presence of 5 mM EDTA. Binding of 0.1 mg/ml [3H]fibronectin is 60-80% inhibited by 8 mg/ml unlabeled fibronectin and 95% inhibited by 1 mg/ml purified 75-kDa fibronectin cell-binding domain, but is unaffected by 1 mg/ml 44-kDa collagen-binding domain or 5 mg/ml ovalbumin. The binding parameters determined in this study further define the fibroblast cell-surface fibronectin receptor.