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J Biol Chem. 1997 Oct 24;272(43):26905-12.

Mapping of a defined neurocan binding site to distinct domains of tenascin-C.

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  • 1Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie, Am Klopferspitz 18a, 82152 Martinsried, Germany. rauch@biochem.mpg.de


Neurocan is a member of the aggrecan family of proteoglycans which are characterized by NH2-terminal domains binding hyaluronan, and COOH-terminal domains containing C-type lectin-like modules. To detect and enhance the affinity for complementary ligands of neurocan, the COOH-terminal neurocan domain was fused with the NH2-terminal region of tenascin-C, which contains the hexamerization domain of this extracellular matrix glycoprotein. The fusion protein was designed to contain the last downstream glycosaminoglycan attachment site and was expressed as a proteoglycan. In ligand overlay blots carried out with brain extracts, it recognized tenascin-C. The interaction was abolished by the addition of EDTA, or TNfn4,5, a bacterially expressed tenascin-C fragment comprising the fourth and fifth fibronectin type III module. The fusion protein directly reacted with this fragment in ligand blot and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay procedures. Both tenascin-C and TNfn4,5 were retained on Sepharose 4B-linked carboxyl-terminal neurocan domains, which in BIAcore binding studies yielded a KD value of 17 nM for purified tenascin-C. We conclude that a divalent cation-dependent interaction between the COOH-terminal domain of neurocan and those fibronectin type III repeats is substantially involved in the binding of neurocan to tenascin-C.

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