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Arch Biochem Biophys. 1993 Jan;300(1):30-41.

Physical stabilization of acidic fibroblast growth factor by polyanions.

Author information

1
Department of Pharmaceutical Research, Merck Research Laboratories, West Point, Pennsylvania 19486.

Abstract

Acidic fibroblast growth factor (aFGF) is markedly stabilized by heparin. Partially due to the heterogeneity of heparin preparations, the nature of the aFGF polyanion binding site is still ill-defined. We have, therefore, investigated a wide variety of well-defined polyanions in terms of their ability to stabilize human recombinant aFGF (15-154) against thermal denaturation. The specificity of the interaction between aFGF and polyanions is shown to be remarkably weak with a surprising number of polyanions (including small phosphorylated and sulfated compounds as well as highly charged biopolymers) able to induce physical stability. Temperature-dependent fluorescence and circular dichroism measurements show that many of these polyanionic compounds stabilize aFGF to the same extent as heparin. The ability of these agents to protect the three free thiol groups of aFGF from copper-catalyzed oxidation was also explored and significant protection was observed. The extent and electrostatic requirements of the protein's polyanion binding site were probed by the use of a series of well-defined heparin fragments and differentially phosphorylated inositol compounds. A tetrasaccharide fragment of heparin is the smallest unit of heparin capable of stabilizing aFGF against thermal denaturation. Increasing phosphorylation of inositol compounds (up to six phosphate groups per molecule) enhances the thermal stability of aFGF. These results are discussed in the context of a model of human aFGF based on the X-ray crystal structure of the bovine protein and previous studies by others of the heparin binding site of both acidic and basic FGF.

PMID:
7678726
DOI:
10.1006/abbi.1993.1005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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