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J Cell Biol. 1993 Dec;123(5):1269-77.

Structure and expression of fibulin-2, a novel extracellular matrix protein with multiple EGF-like repeats and consensus motifs for calcium binding.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Jefferson Institute of Molecular Medicine, Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107-5541.


A new protein, fibulin-2, was predicted from sequence analysis of cDNA clones obtained from a mouse fibroblast library. This protein consists of a 1195-residue polypeptide preceded by a 26-residue signal peptide. The COOH-terminal region of 787 amino acids contained three anaphylatoxin-related segments (domain I), 11 EGF-like repeats (domain II), 10 of which had a consensus motif for calcium-binding, and a 115-residue globular domain III. Except for two additional EGF-like repeats, this COOH-terminal region showed 43% sequence identity with the previously described fibulin-1 (BM-90). The NH2-terminal 408 residues, unique to fibulin-2, showed no sequence homology to other known proteins and presumably form two additional domains that differ in their cysteine content. Recombinant fibulin-2 was produced and secreted by human cell clones as a disulfide-bonded trimer. Rotary shadowing visualized the protein as three 40-45 nm long rods which are connected at one end in a globe-like structure. No significant immunological cross-reaction could be detected between fibulin-1 and fibulin-2. Production of the fibulin-2 was demonstrated by Northern blots and radioimmunoassay in fibroblasts but not in several tumor cell lines. Together with the observation that the serum level of fibulin-2 is 1,000-fold lower than that of fibulin-1, the data indicate that these two isoforms are not always coordinately expressed. This is also suggested by Northern blots of tissue mRNAs and by immunofluorescence localizations using mouse tissues. The latter studies also demonstrated an extracellular localization for fibulin-2 in basement membranes and other connective tissue compartments.

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