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J Cell Biol. 2004 Jun 7;165(5):723-34.

Integrin alphaVbeta6-mediated activation of latent TGF-beta requires the latent TGF-beta binding protein-1.

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Department of Cell Biology, New York University School of Medicine, 550 First Ave., New York, NY 10016, USA.


Transforming growth factor-betas (TGF-beta) are secreted as inactive complexes containing the TGF-beta, the TGF-beta propeptide, also called the latency-associated protein (LAP), and the latent TGF-beta binding protein (LTBP). Extracellular activation of this complex is a critical but incompletely understood step in TGF-beta regulation. We have investigated the role of LTBP in modulating TGF-beta generation by the integrin alphaVbeta6. We show that even though alphavbeta6 recognizes an RGD on LAP, LTBP-1 is required for alphaVbeta6-mediated latent TGF-beta activation. The domains of LTBP-1 necessary for activation include the TGF-beta propeptide-binding domain and a basic amino acid sequence (hinge domain) with ECM targeting properties. Our results demonstrate an LTBP-1 isoform-specific function in alphaVbeta6-mediated latent TGF-beta activation; LTBP-3 is unable to substitute for LTBP-1 in this assay. The results reveal a functional role for LTBP-1 in latent TGF-beta activation and suggest that activation of specific latent complexes is regulated by distinct mechanisms that may be determined by the LTBP isoform and its potential interaction with the matrix.

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