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Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2006 Jan;38(1):23-9. Epub 2005 Aug 18.

Calcium-dependent self-association of the C-type lectin domain of versican.

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Institute of Medical Genetics,Charité University Hospital, Humboldt University, Augustenburger Platz 1, 13353 Berlin, Germany.


Versican is a large (1-2 x 10(6) Da) chondroitin-sulfate proteoglycan that can form large aggregates by means of interaction with hyaluronan and also binds to a series of other extracellular matrix proteins, chemokines and cell-surface molecules. Versican is a multifunctional molecule with roles in cell adhesion, matrix assembly, cell migration and proliferation. Characterization of the binding interactions mediated by the various domains of versican is a first step towards understanding the functions of versican and interacting molecules in the extracellular matrix. In this study we investigated a recombinant construct corresponding to the C-type lectin domain of versican and demonstrated a calcium-dependent self-association of this region by blot overlay and plasmon surface resonance assays. Electron microscopy provided further evidence of the relevance of the binding reaction by demonstrating a mixture of monomers, dimers and complex aggregates of recombinant versican C-type lectin domain. This binding reaction could contribute to the ability of versican to organize formation of the proteoglycan extracellular matrix by inducing binding of individual versican molecules or by modulating binding reactions to other matrix components.

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