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Dev Dyn. 1992 May;194(1):63-70.

Distinct regions of human fibronectin are essential for fibril assembly in an in vivo developing system.

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Laboratoire de Biologie Expérimentale, Université P. et M. Curie, U.R.A. CNRS 1135, Paris, France.


In early vertebrate development, the proper assembly of fibronectin into fibrils is crucial for embryonic cells to adhere and to migrate on the extracellular matrix. The molecular mechanisms by which such a process occurs in vivo are poorly understood. In the amphibian embryo Pleurodeles waltl fibronectin fibrils appear first at the blastula stage. They form a fibrillar matrix on the basal surface of animal cells facing the blastocoel. Using competition and perturbation experiments with purified proteolytic fragments and domain-specific monoclonal antibodies, we demonstrate that at least three fibronectin sites are essential for assembly of fibronectin fibrils in the blastula of Pleurodeles waltl. Two sites, the RGDS sequence and the synergistic domain in the 10th type III repeat, are both involved in receptor recognition. A third site that spans the 9th type I and 1st type III homology sequences is also likely to participate in fibronectin-fibronectin interactions.

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