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Matrix Biol. 2009 Jul;28(6):347-53. doi: 10.1016/j.matbio.2009.05.004. Epub 2009 Jun 6.

C-terminal fragment of transforming growth factor beta-induced protein (TGFBIp) is required for apoptosis in human osteosarcoma cells.

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  • 1Department of Biology, University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX 78249, USA.


Transforming growth factor beta-induced protein (TGFBIp), is secreted into the extracellular space. When fragmentation of C-terminal portions is blocked, apoptosis is low, even when the protein is overexpressed. If fragmentation occurs, apoptosis is observed. Whether full-length TGFBIp or integrin-binding fragments released from its C-terminus is necessary for apoptosis remains equivocal. More importantly, the exact portion of the C-terminus that conveys the pro-apoptotic property of TGFBIp is uncertain. It is reportedly within the final 166 amino acids. We sought to determine if this property is dependent upon the final 69 amino acids containing the integrin-binding, EPDIM and RGD, sequences. With MG-63 osteosarcoma cells, transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta1 treatment increased expression of TGFBIp over 72 h (p<0.001). At this time point, apoptosis was significantly increased (p<0.001) and was prevented by an anti-TGFBIp, polyclonal antibody (p<0.05). Overexpression of TGFBIp by transient transfection produced a 2-fold increase in apoptosis (p<0.01). Exogenous purified TGFBIp at concentrations of 37-150 nM produced a dose dependent increase in apoptosis (p<0.001). Mass spectrometry analysis of TGFBIp isolated from conditioned medium of cells treated with TGF-beta1 revealed truncated forms of TGFBIp that lacked integrin-binding sequences in the C-terminus. Recombinant TGFBIp truncated, similarly, at amino acid 614 failed to induce apoptosis. A recombinant fragment encoding the final 69 amino acids of the TGFBIp C-terminus produced significant apoptosis. This apoptosis level was comparable to that induced by TGF-beta1 upregulation of endogenous TGFBIp. Mutation of the integrin-binding sequence EPDIM, but not RGD, blocked apoptosis (p<0.001). These pro-apoptotic actions are dependent on the C-terminus most likely to interact with integrins.

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