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Cell. 1989 Oct 20;59(2):325-34.

Two contrary functions of tenascin: dissection of the active sites by recombinant tenascin fragments.

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Friedrich Miescher-Institut, Basel, Switzerland.


A structural and functional model of tenascin was elaborated using recombinant parts of three alternatively spliced tenascin variants and anti-tenascin monoclonal antibodies. The fusion proteins were compared with intact tenascin for their functions and by electron microscopy. A strong cell binding site was localized within 104 amino acids. This fragment also contains the epitope of the monoclonal antibody anti-Tn68, which inhibits cell attachment to tenascin and binds near the tips of the six arms of tenascin. In contrast, constructs containing the 13 1/2 EGF-like repeats of tenascin showed an antiadhesive effect. The coexistence of the two contrary signals on the same molecule might be responsible for the versatile features of tenascin.

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