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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Feb 19;110(8):2852-7. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1215779110. Epub 2013 Feb 4.

Latent TGF-β binding protein 4 promotes elastic fiber assembly by interacting with fibulin-5.

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Department of Pharmacology, Kansai Medical University, Moriguchi City, Osaka 570-8506, Japan.


Elastic fiber assembly requires deposition of elastin monomers onto microfibrils, the mechanism of which is incompletely understood. Here we show that latent TGF-β binding protein 4 (LTBP-4) potentiates formation of elastic fibers through interacting with fibulin-5, a tropoelastin-binding protein necessary for elastogenesis. Decreased expression of LTBP-4 in human dermal fibroblast cells by siRNA treatment abolished the linear deposition of fibulin-5 and tropoelastin on microfibrils. It is notable that the addition of recombinant LTBP-4 to cell culture medium promoted elastin deposition on microfibrils without changing the expression of elastic fiber components. This elastogenic property of LTBP-4 is independent of bound TGF-β because TGF-β-free recombinant LTBP-4 was as potent an elastogenic inducer as TGF-β-bound recombinant LTBP-4. Without LTBP-4, fibulin-5 and tropoelastin deposition was discontinuous and punctate in vitro and in vivo. These data suggest a unique function for LTBP-4 during elastic fibrogenesis, making it a potential therapeutic target for elastic fiber regeneration.

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