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J Biol Chem. 2008 Jul 11;283(28):19551-60. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M710001200. Epub 2008 May 16.

Mapping of SPARC/BM-40/osteonectin-binding sites on fibrillar collagens.

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Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie, Am Klopferspitz 18, 82152 Martinsried, Germany.


The 33-kDa matrix protein SPARC (BM-40, osteonectin) binds several collagen types with moderate affinity. The collagen-binding site resides in helix alphaA of the extracellular calcium-binding domain of SPARC and is partially masked by helix alphaC. Previously, we found that the removal of helix alphaC caused a 10-fold increase in the affinity of SPARC for collagen, and we identified amino acids crucial for binding by site-directed mutagenesis. In this study, we used rotary shadowing, CNBr peptides, and synthetic peptides to map binding sites of SPARC onto collagens I, II, and III. Rotary shadowing and electron microscopy of SPARC-collagen complexes identified a major binding site approximately 180 nm from the C terminus of collagen. SPARC binding was also detected with lower frequency near the matrix metalloproteinase cleavage site. These data fit well with our analysis of SPARC binding to CNBr peptides, denaturation of which abolished binding, indicating triple-helical conformation of collagen to be essential. SPARC binding was substantially decreased in two of seven alpha2(I) mutant procollagen I samples and after N-acetylation of Lys/Hyl side chains in wild-type collagen. Synthetic peptides of collagen III were used to locate the binding sites, and we found SPARC binding activity in a synthetic triple-helical peptide containing the sequence GPOGPSGPRGQOGVMGFOGPKGNDGAO (where O indicates 4-hydroxyproline), with affinity for SPARC comparable with that of procollagen III. This sequence is conserved among alpha chains of collagens I, II, III, and V. In vitro collagen fibrillogenesis was delayed in the presence of SPARC, suggesting that SPARC might modulate collagen fibril assembly in vivo.

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