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EMBO J. 1985 Oct;4(10):2519-24.

Complete amino acid sequence of human vitronectin deduced from cDNA. Similarity of cell attachment sites in vitronectin and fibronectin.


cDNA clones for vitronectin, a cell adhesion-promoting plasma and tissue protein, were isolated from a lambda gt11 library containing cDNA inserts made from human liver mRNA. The library was screened with anti-vitronectin antibodies and the positive clones were further identified with synthetic oligonucleotide probes deduced from the partial amino acid sequence of vitronectin. Nucleotide sequence analysis showed that the largest insert was 1545 bp long and contained the whole sequence corresponding to plasma vitronectin. It showed that vitronectin contains the entire 44-amino acid somatomedin B peptide at its NH2 terminus and, near its COOH terminus, a 34-amino acid glycosaminoglycan binding site in which half of the amino acids are basic residues. Three potential carbohydrate attachment sites are present in the sequence. An Arg-Gly-Asp sequence, which has previously been shown to be the cell attachment site in fibronectin, was found in vitronectin immediately after the NH2-terminal somatomedin B sequence. No other homologies with fibronectin were found. The Arg-Gly-Asp sequence appears to constitute the cell attachment site of vitronectin, since it is in the region where we have previously localized the cell attachment site, its presence correlate with cell attachment activity among the insert-coded polypeptides, and because previous results have shown that synthetic peptides containing the Arg-Gly-Asp sequence inhibit the cell attachment function of vitronectin. The discovery of an Arg-Gly-Asp cell attachment site in a protein with a known cell attachment function emphasizes the general importance of this sequence in cell recognition.

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