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J Cell Sci. 2001 Jan;114(Pt 1):187-197.

Latent TGF-beta binding protein LTBP-1 contains three potential extracellular matrix interacting domains.

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Departments of Pathology and Virology, The Haartman Institute and Helsinki University Hospital, University of Helsinki, FIN-00014 Helsinki, Finland.


Latent TGF-beta binding proteins (LTBPs) are components of the extracellular matrix (ECM). They belong to the fibrillin/LTBP-superfamily, and are high molecular weight glycoproteins characterized by EGF-like repeats and 8-Cys repeats. Most LTBPs associate with the small latent forms of TGF-beta. Their roles include to facilitate the secretion of latent TGF-beta and to target it to the ECM. In order to identify new matrix-binding domains of LTBP-1 and to characterize their association with the extracellular matrix, we have produced (in a mammalian expression system) partly overlapping recombinant fragments of its shorter form, LTBP-1S, and analyzed the binding of the purified fusion proteins to extracellular matrices of cultured human dermal and lung fibroblasts. Recombinant fragments from three different regions of the N- and C-termini showed affinity to the matrix. These interacting regions contain either the first (hybrid), second or fourth 8-Cys domains of the LTBP-1S molecule. They bound independently to the matrix. Each of them had an ability to inhibit the association of native exogenous LTBP-1 with fibroblast extracellular matrix. The interactions of the LTBP-1 fragments with the extracellular matrix resisted treatment with sodium deoxycholate, suggesting strong, possibly covalent binding. The binding occurred in a time- and dose-dependent fashion. The N-terminal fragments bound more readily to the matrices. With all fragments the binding took place both with intact fibroblast matrices and with matrices isolated by sodium deoxycholate. When using CHO cell layers, which form sparse matrices, only the N-terminal fragment of LTBP-1 was efficiently incorporated. The association of the binding fragments with isolated matrices was enhanced by soluble, cell-derived factors. The current data suggest that LTBP-1 contains three different domains with an ability to associate with the extracellular matrix.

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