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Eur J Biochem. 1998 Mar 15;252(3):339-46.

Inter-alpha-trypsin inhibitor proteoglycan family--a group of proteins binding and stabilizing the extracellular matrix.

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1
INSERM U.295, Faculté de Médecine Pharmacie de Rouen, St Etienne du Rouvray, France. fbost@skcc.org

Abstract

Extracellular matrix (ECM) is composed of several macromolecules associated in a complex network. This structure allows cells to adhere, migrate and interact. Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a glycosaminoglycan (GAG) and a major representative of ECM. HA-binding proteins such as CD44, aggrecan, and versican, have been implicated in structuring the ECM by stabilizing large macromolecular aggregates. They also play an important role in tumor metastasis and cell motility. Recently, further HA-binding proteins were identified: the inter-alpha-trypsin inhibitor(ITI)-related proteins. ITI is a glycoprotein composed of three polypeptides: two heavy chains (HC1 and HC2) and one light chain (bikunin). Bikunin confers the protease-inhibitor function. The heavy chains' function was unknown. Recent studies have shown that HC1 and HC2 are linked in vivo and in vitro to hyaluronic acid. This linkage greatly improves extracellular matrix stability. It also demonstrates that ITI-related proteins might be considered as HA-binding proteins (HABP). The ITI related proteins are composed of four polypeptides (HC1, HC2, HC3 and the bikunin) encoded by four genes H1, H2, H3 and L. Unlike the majority of plasma protein a non-disulfide covalent linkage exists between heavy chains and bikunin. This review presents the recent progress concerning the interactions between ITI and ECM showing that ITI-related proteins are HABP members. We will focus on the heavy chain linkage with HA, which represents the demonstration of covalent binding between proteins and HA.

PMID:
9546647
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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