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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1990 Aug 16;170(3):1236-41.

Streptavidin contains an RYD sequence which mimics the RGD receptor domain of fibronectin.

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Department of Biophysics, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel.


Streptavidin binds at low levels and high affinity to cell surfaces, the cause of which can be traced to the occurrence of a sequence containing RYD (Arg-Tyr-Asp) in the protein molecule. This binding is enhanced in the presence of biotin. Cell-bound streptavidin can be displaced by fibronectin, as well as by RGD- and RYD-containing peptides. In addition, streptavidin can displace fibronectin from cell surfaces. The RYD sequence of streptavidin thus mimics RGD (Arg-Gly-Asp), the universal recognition domain present in fibronectin and other adhesion-related molecules. The observed adhesion to cells has no relevance to biotin-binding since the RYD sequence is not part of the biotin-binding site of streptavidin. Since the use of streptavidin in avidin-biotin technology is based on its biotin-binding properties, researchers are hereby warned against its indiscriminate use in histochemical and cytochemical studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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