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J Biol Chem. 1998 Aug 7;273(32):20669-76.

Recombinant latent transforming growth factor beta-binding protein 2 assembles to fibroblast extracellular matrix and is susceptible to proteolytic processing and release.

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Department of Virology, The Haartman Institute, P. O. Box 21, Haartmaninkatu 3, FIN-00014, University of Helsinki, Finland.


Latent transforming growth factor beta-binding protein 2 (LTBP-2) belongs to the fibrillin-LTBP gene family and is a component of 10-nm microfibrils. LTBP-2 consists mainly of domains of 8-cysteine and EGF-like repeats linked by proline-rich regions. To characterize the biochemical properties of LTBP-2, its assembly to the extracellular matrix, and its proteolytic release from the matrix, LTBP-2 was expressed recombinantly in Chinese hamster ovary cells and purified to homogeneity under nondenaturing conditions. Purified LTBP-2 bound calcium and was glycosylated at the central domain of EGF-like repeats. Antibodies made against the recombinant LTBP-2 decorated fibrillar structures in fibroblast extracellular matrix. Treatment of matrices with plasmin or elastase released a soluble approximately 160-kDa LTBP-2 fragment. Processing of LTBP-2 was studied by treating purified LTBP-2 with plasmin or porcine pancreatic elastase. LTBP-2 was processed with these proteases initially to a approximately 160-kDa fragment, and with higher concentrations to a protease-resistant approximately 120-kDa fragment. Processing sites were localized by amino acid sequencing to proline-rich regions at the N-terminal part of LTBP-2, suggesting that the matrix binding sites locate to the N-terminal approximately 500 amino acids of LTBP-2. Purified and biotinylated LTBP-2 could be assembled to fibrillar structures in fibroblast extracellular matrix during cell cultivation, indicating that LTBP-2 assembly to the matrix is not strictly linked to cells that make it and suggesting that microfibril assembly may involve soluble intermediates.

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