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J Biol Chem. 2009 Jan 9;284(2):1116-25. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M804860200. Epub 2008 Nov 11.

Differential interactions of thrombospondin-1, -2, and -4 with CD47 and effects on cGMP signaling and ischemic injury responses.

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Laboratory of Pathology, NCI, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


Thrombospondin-1 regulates nitric oxide (NO) signaling in vascular cells via CD47. Because CD47 binding motifs are conserved in the C-terminal signature domains of all five thrombospondins and indirect evidence has implied CD47 interactions with other family members, we compared activities of recombinant signature domains of thrombospondin-1, -2, and -4 to interact with CD47 and modulate cGMP signaling. Signature domains of thrombospondin-2 and -4 were less active than that of thrombospondin-1 for inhibiting binding of radiolabeled signature domain of thrombospondin-1 or SIRPalpha (signal-regulatory protein) to cells expressing CD47. Consistent with this binding selectivity, the signature domain of thrombospondin-1 was more potent than those of thrombospondin-2 or -4 for inhibiting NO-stimulated cGMP synthesis in vascular smooth muscle cells and downstream effects on cell adhesion. In contrast to thrombospondin-1- and CD47-null cells, primary vascular cells from thrombospondin-2-null mice lack enhanced basal and NO-stimulated cGMP signaling. Effects of endogenous thrombospondin-2 on NO/cGMP signaling could be detected only in thrombospondin-1-null cells. Furthermore, tissue survival of ischemic injury and acute recovery of blood flow in thrombospondin-2-nulls resembles that of wild type mice. Therefore, thrombospondin-1 is the dominant regulator of NO/cGMP signaling via CD47, and its limiting role in acute ischemic injury responses is not shared by thrombospondin-2.

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