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J Biol Chem. 1992 Jun 5;267(16):11260-6.

Assignment of interchain disulfide bonds in platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) and evidence for agonist activity of monomeric PDGF.

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  • 1Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Biomedical Center, Uppsala, Sweden.


Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) is a dimeric factor stabilized by disulfide bonds. Using an approach involving partial reduction of PDGF, we have identified the 2nd and 4th cysteine residues in the PDGF chains as the cysteine residues forming interchain disulfide bonds. Analysis of PDGF mutants in which the 2nd and 4th cysteine residues were mutated to serine residues revealed that the disulfide bonds are arranged in a cross-wise manner, with the 2nd cysteine residue in one chain being linked to the 4th cysteine residue in the other. A PDGF B-chain mutant, in which both the 2nd and 4th cysteine residues were substituted with serine residues, migrated as a monomer in sodium dodecyl sulfate gel electrophoresis and retained receptor binding activity. When analyzed in receptor dimerization and autophosphorylation assays, this mutant showed agonistic activity. Thus, structural information has been obtained that will allow the large scale production of properly folded monomeric PDGF, as well as design of specific PDGF heterodimers.

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