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J Biol Chem. 1995 Sep 29;270(39):23150-4.

The role of coiled-coil alpha-helices and disulfide bonds in the assembly and stabilization of cartilage matrix protein subunits. A mutational analysis.

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Cutaneous Biology Research Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, USA.


Cartilage matrix protein (CMP) exists as a disulfide-bonded homotrimer in the matrix of cartilage. Each monomer consists of two CMP-A domains that are separated by an epidermal growth factor-like domain. A heptad repeat-containing tail makes up the carboxyl-terminal domain of the protein. The secreted form of CMP contains 12 cysteine residues numbered C1 through C12. Two of these are in each of the CMP-A domains, six are in the epidermal growth factor-like domain, and two are in the heptad repeat-containing tail. Two major categories of mutant CMPs were generated to analyze the oligomerization process of CMP: a mini-CMP and a heptadless full-length CMP. The mini-CMP consists of the CMP-A2 domain and the heptad repeat-containing tail. In addition, a number of mutations affecting C9 through C12 were generated within the full-length, the mini-, and the heptad-less CMPs. The mutational analysis indicates that the heptad repeats are necessary for the initiation of CMP trimerization and that the two cysteines in the heptad repeat-containing tail are both necessary and sufficient to form intermolecular disulfide bonds in either full-length or mini-CMP. The two cysteines within a CMP-A domain form an intradomain disulfide bond.

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