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J Biol Chem. 2007 Jan 5;282(1):800-8. Epub 2006 Nov 10.

Microfibril-associated MAGP-2 stimulates elastic fiber assembly.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Arthritis Center, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts 02118, USA.


Elastic fibers are complex structures composed of a tropoelastin inner core and microfibril outer mantle guiding tropoelastin deposition. Microfibrillar proteins mainly include fibrillins and microfibril-associated glycoproteins (MAGPs). MAGP-2 exhibits developmental expression peaking at elastic fiber onset, suggesting that MAGP-2 mediates elastic fiber assembly. To determine whether MAGP-2 regulates elastic fiber assembly, we used an in vitro model featuring doxycycline-regulated cells conditionally overexpressing exogenous MAGP-2 and constitutively expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein-tagged tropoelastin. Analysis by immunofluorescent staining showed that MAGP-2 overexpression dramatically increased elastic fibers levels, independently of extracellular levels of soluble tropoelastin, indicating that MAGP-2 stimulates elastic fiber assembly. This was associated with increased levels of matrix-associated MAGP-2. Electron microscopy showed that MAGP-2 specifically associates with microfibrils and that elastin globules primarily colocalize with MAGP-2-associated microfibrils, suggesting that microfibril-associated MAGP-2 facilitates elastic fiber assembly. MAGP-2 overexpression did not change levels of matrix-associated fibrillin-1, MAGP-1, fibulin-2, fibulin-5, or emilin-1, suggesting that microfibrils and other elastic fiber-associated proteins known to regulate elastogenesis do not mediate MAGP-2-induced elastic fiber assembly. Moreover, mutation analysis showed that MAGP-2 does not stimulate elastic fiber assembly through its RGD motif, suggesting that integrin receptor binding does not mediate MAGP-2-induced elastic fiber assembly. Because MAGP-2 interacts with Jagged-1 that controls cell-matrix interaction and cell motility, two key factors in elastic fiber macroassembly, microfibril-associated MAGP-2 may stimulate elastic fiber macroassembly by targeting the release of elastin globules from the cell membrane onto developing elastic fibers.

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