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J Biol Chem. 2003 Apr 18;278(16):13655-62. Epub 2003 Feb 11.

Decorin binds fibrinogen in a Zn2+-dependent interaction.

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  • 1Center for Extracellular Matrix Biology, Institute of Biosciences and Technology, Texas Medical Center, Houston 77030, USA.


We have previously shown that decorin, a member of the small leucine-rich proteoglycan family of extracellular matrix proteoglycans/glycoproteins is a Zn(2+) metalloprotein at physiological Zn(2+) concentrations (Yang, V. W-C., LaBrenz, S. R., Rosenberg, L. C., McQuillan, D., and Höök, M. (1999) J. Biol. Chem. 274, 12454-12460). We now report that the decorin proteoglycan binds fibrinogen in the presence of Zn(2+). The fibrinogen-binding site is located in the N-terminal domain of the decorin core protein and a 45-amino acid peptide representing this domain binds to the fibrinogen D fragment with an apparent K(D) of 1.7 x 10(-6) m, as determined from fluorescence polarization data. Furthermore, we show that Zn(2+) promotes the self-association of decorin. The N-terminal domain of the core protein also mediates this activity. The results of solid-phase binding assays and gel filtration chromatography suggest that the N-terminal domain of decorin, when present at low micromolar concentrations, forms an oligomer in a Zn(2+)-dependent manner. Thus, Zn(2+) appears to play a pivotal role in the interactions and biological function of decorin.

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