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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1990 Sep;87(17):6624-8.

A tumor suppressor-dependent inhibitor of angiogenesis is immunologically and functionally indistinguishable from a fragment of thrombospondin.

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Department of Microbiology-Immunology, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL 60611.


A secreted inhibitor of angiogenesis that is controlled by a tumor suppressor gene in hamster cells has been found to be similar to a fragment of the platelet and matrix protein thrombospondin. The two proteins were biochemically similar and immunologically crossreactive and could substitute for one another in two functional assays. Human thrombospondin inhibited neovascularization in vivo and endothelial cell migration in vitro, as does the hamster protein, gp140. gp140 sensitized smooth muscle cells to stimulation by epidermal growth factor, as does human thrombospondin. The thrombospondin gene has been localized on human chromosome 15. These results demonstrate a function for the ubiquitous adhesive glycoprotein thrombospondin that is likely to be important in the normal physiological down-regulation of neovascularization. In addition, they raise the possibility that thrombospondin may be one of a number of target molecules through which a tumor suppressor gene could act to restrain tumor growth.

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