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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1987 Apr;84(7):1911-5.

Increased biosynthesis and processing of fibronectin in fibroblasts from diabetic mice.


Diabetic connective tissues exhibit a deranged regulation of extracellular matrix biosynthesis. Fibronectin is shown to be increased in human dermal connective tissue by immunofluorescence, mainly at the dermoepidermal and capillary basement membranes. The rate of fibronectin biosynthesis, excretion, and incorporation in a pericellular polymeric form was investigated using genetically diabetic KK mouse skin and fibroblasts as compared to Swiss and C57BL mouse skin and fibroblasts. The rate of incorporation of [35S]methionine into proteins recovered in the culture medium or in deoxycholate and NaDodSO4 or urea extracts was investigated. The rate of incorporation in the medium and deoxycholate extracts was comparable. However, the relative rate of incorporation of the tracer in the NaDodSO4-extractable, pericellular polymeric form was increased in the diabetic KK fibroblasts both for total proteins and for fibronectin. In pulse-chase experiments, the deoxycholate-soluble and NaDodSO4-soluble fractions exhibited a precursor-product relationship. The rate of passage of fibronectin from the deoxycholate-soluble (cellular compartment) form to the NaDodSO4-soluble (pericellular polymeric) form was strongly accelerated in the diabetic fibroblast cultures. These results confirm the increased rate of synthesis of fibronectin in diabetic fibroblasts as well as its processing from the cellular compartment to the polymeric pericellular form. The increase of fibronectin in diabetic connective tissues, in the matrix as well as in the basement membranes, may play a role in the mechanism of micro- and macroangiopathies and in the perturbed permeability characteristics of the diabetic capillaries, and as a glycoprotein it may contribute to the increased periodic acid/Schiff reagent staining of diabetic capillary basement membranes.

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