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Am J Physiol. 1998 Aug;275(2 Pt 1):E321-31.

Plasminogen binds the heparin-binding domain of insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-3.

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Orthopaedic Research Laboratory, Allegheny University of Health Sciences, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15212, USA.


Limited proteolysis lowers affinity of insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-binding protein (IGFBP)-3 for bound IGFs, resulting in greater IGF bioavailability. Plasmin is one of many proteases that cleave IGFBP-3, and the plasmin system may regulate IGFBP-3 proteolysis and IGF bioavailability in cultured cells in vitro. A role for the plasmin system in IGFBP-3 proteolysis in vivo is suggested by data presented here showing that IGFBP-3 binds plasminogen (Pg; Glu-Pg) with a dissociation constant (Kd) ranging from 1.43 to 3.12 nM. IGF-I and Glu-Pg do not compete for IGFBP-3 binding; instead, the binary IGFBP-3/Glu-Pg complex binds IGF-I with high affinity (Kd = 0. 47 nM) to form a ternary complex. Competitive binding studies suggest that the kringle 1, 4, and 5 domains of Glu-Pg and the heparin-binding domain of IGFBP-3 participate in forming the IGFBP-3/Glu-Pg complex, and other studies show that Glu-Pg in this complex is activated at a normal rate by tissue Pg activator. Importantly, IGFBP-3/Glu-Pg complexes were detected in both human citrate plasma and serum, indicating that these complexes exist in vivo. Binding of IGFBP-3 to Glu-Pg in vivo suggests how Glu-Pg activation can specifically lead to IGFBP-3 proteolysis with subsequent release of IGFs to local target tissues.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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