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Peptides. 2011 Sep;32(9):1840-8. doi: 10.1016/j.peptides.2011.08.010. Epub 2011 Aug 16.

An integrin-binding N-terminal peptide region of TIMP-2 retains potent angio-inhibitory and anti-tumorigenic activity in vivo.

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  • 1Radiation Oncology Branch, Advanced Technology Center, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, NIH, 8717 Grovemont Circle, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-2 (TIMP-2) inhibits angiogenesis by several mechanisms involving either MMP inhibition or direct endothelial cell binding. The primary aim of this study was to identify the TIMP-2 region involved in binding to the previously identified receptor integrin α3β1, and to determine whether synthetic peptides derived from this region retained angio-inhibitory and tumor suppressor activity. We demonstrated that the N-terminal domain of TIMP-2 (N-TIMP-2) binds to α3β1 and inhibits vascular endothelial growth factor-stimulated endothelial cell growth in vitro, suggesting that both the α3β1-binding domain and the growth suppressor activity of TIMP-2 localize to the N-terminal domain. Using a peptide array approach we identify a 24 amino acid region of TIMP-2 primary sequence, consisting of residues Ile43-Ala66, which shows α3β1-binding activity. Subsequently we demonstrate that synthetic peptides from this region compete for TIMP-2 binding to α3β1 and suppress endothelial growth in vitro. We define a minimal peptide sequence (peptide 8-9) that possesses both angio-inhibitory and, using a murine xenograft model of Kaposi's sarcoma, anti-tumorigenic activity in vivo. Thus, both the α3β1-binding and the angio-inhibitory activities co-localize to a solvent exposed, flexible region in the TIMP-2 primary sequence that is unique in amino acid sequence compared with other members of the TIMP family. Furthermore, comparison of the TIMP-2 and TIMP-1 protein 3-D structures in this region also identified unique structural differences. Our findings demonstrate that the integrin binding, tumor growth suppressor and in vivo angio-inhibitory activities of TIMP-2 are intimately associated within a unique sequence/structural loop (B-C loop).

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