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Biochemistry. 2001 Nov 6;40(44):13246-53.

p22 is a novel plasminogen fragment with antiangiogenic activity.

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Cancer Biology Research Group, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 4N1.


Tumor or tumor-associated cells cleave circulating plasminogen into three or four kringle-containing antiangiogenic fragments, collectively referred to as angiostatin. Angiostatin blocks tumor growth and metastasis by preventing the growth of endothelial cells that are critical for tumor vascularization. Here, we show that cancer and normal cells convert plasminogen into a novel 22 kDa fragment (p22). Production of this plasminogen fragment in a cell-free system has allowed characterization of the structure and activity of the protein. p22 consists of amino acid residues 78-180 of plasminogen and therefore embodies the first plasminogen kringle (residues 84-162) as well as additional N- and C-terminal residues. Circular dichroism and intrinsic fluorescence spectrum analysis have defined structural differences between p22 and recombinant plasminogen kringle 1 (rK1), therefore suggesting a unique conformation for kringle 1 within p22. Proliferation of capillary endothelial cells but not cells of other lineages was selectively inhibited by p22 in vitro. In addition, p22 prevented vascular growth of chick chorioallantoic membranes (CAMs) in vivo. Furthermore, administration of p22 at low dose suppressed the growth of murine Lewis lung carcinoma (LLC) metastatic foci in vivo. This is the first identification of a single kringle-containing antiangiogenic plasminogen fragment produced under physiological conditions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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