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J Biol Chem. 2009 Sep 4;284(36):24553-67. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M109.019364. Epub 2009 Jul 1.

Differential regulation of elastic fiber formation by fibulin-4 and -5.

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  • 1Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell-Matrix Research, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PT, United Kingdom.


Fibulin-4 and -5 are extracellular glycoproteins with essential non-compensatory roles in elastic fiber assembly. We have determined how they interact with tropoelastin, lysyl oxidase, and fibrillin-1, thereby revealing how they differentially regulate assembly. Strong binding between fibulin-4 and lysyl oxidase enhanced the interaction of fibulin-4 with tropoelastin, forming ternary complexes that may direct elastin cross-linking. In contrast, fibulin-5 did not bind lysyl oxidase strongly but bound tropoelastin in terminal and central regions and could concurrently bind fibulin-4. Both fibulins differentially bound N-terminal fibrillin-1, which strongly inhibited their binding to lysyl oxidase and tropoelastin. Knockdown experiments revealed that fibulin-5 controlled elastin deposition on microfibrils, although fibulin-4 can also bind fibrillin-1. These experiments provide a molecular account of the distinct roles of fibulin-4 and -5 in elastic fiber assembly and how they act in concert to chaperone cross-linked elastin onto microfibrils.

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