Synergistic activities of alpha3 and alpha6 integrins are required during apical ectodermal ridge formation and organogenesis in the mouse

Both integrin α6-null mice α3-null mice die at birth, with kidney and lung defects at late stages of development, and skin blistering. To investigate possible overlapping functions between α3 and α6 integrins, we analyzed the phenotype of compound α3−/− and α6−/− mutant embryos. Double homozygous mutant embryos were growth-retarded and displayed several developmental defects not observed in the single mutant animals. The presence of novel phenotypes in double mutant embryos demonstrates the synergism between α3 and α6 integrins and their essential roles in multiple processes during embryogenesis.