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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1998 Jun 9;95(12):7018-23.

Collagen-binding growth factors: production and characterization of functional fusion proteins having a collagen-binding domain.

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  • 1Department of Endocrinology, Faculty of Medicine, Kagawa Medical University, Kagawa 761-0793, Japan.


The autocrine/paracrine peptide signaling molecules such as growth factors have many promising biologic activities for clinical applications. However, one cannot expect specific therapeutic effects of the factors administered by ordinary drug delivery systems as they have limited target specificity and short half-lives in vivo. To overcome the difficulties in using growth factors as therapeutic agents, we have produced fusion proteins consisting of growth factor moieties and a collagen-binding domain (CBD) derived from Clostridium histolyticum collagenase. The fusion proteins carrying the epidermal growth factor (EGF) or basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) at the N terminal of CBD (CBEGF/CBFGF) tightly bound to insoluble collagen and stimulated the growth of BALB/c 3T3 fibroblasts as much as the unfused counterparts. CBEGF, when injected subcutaneously into nude mice, remained at the sites of injection for up to 10 days, whereas EGF was not detectable 24 h after injection. Although CBEGF did not exert a growth-promoting effect in vivo, CBFGF, but not bFGF, strongly stimulated the DNA synthesis in stromal cells at 5 days and 7 days after injection. These results indicate that CBD may be used as an anchoring unit to produce fusion proteins nondiffusible and long-lasting in vivo.

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