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J Biol Chem. 1994 Sep 23;269(38):23845-52.

Relative topography of biologically active domains of human vitronectin. Evidence from monoclonal antibody epitope and denaturation studies.

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Department of Nephrology, Prince Henry Hospital, Little Bay, Australia.


A panel of monoclonal antibodies to human vitronectin was used to define some epitopes for the multifunctions of this protein. Separate antibodies were identified which strongly inhibited cell spreading activity and which prevented binding to collagen. A third group interfered with the ability of vitronectin to inhibit complement-mediated guinea pig erythrocyte reactive lysis. None of the antibodies from these three groups prevented heparin binding, providing evidence that this reaction occurs at a fourth location; a different monoclonal antibody partially inhibited the binding of heparin. The relative accessibility of each biologically active epitope was assessed by the differential binding of the monoclonals to native and denatured vitronectin. Reactivity of the antibody which inhibited heparin binding greatly increased upon denaturation of vitronectin, implying that this region is normally inaccessible in the native form of the molecule. By contrast, epitopes for cell spreading, collagen binding, and inhibition of terminal complement complex lysis were destroyed by denaturation. On the basis of denaturation data and epitope mapping by competitive exclusion of monoclonal antibodies, a Venn diagram was constructed to represent overlap of monoclonal antibody epitopes in the tertiary structure. Linear epitopes for the antibodies were identified using cyanogen bromide and plasmin-derived peptides from vitronectin. The antibody which strongly inhibited cell binding reacted with a region containing the RGD site, whereas linear epitopes for collagen binding and complement inhibition appeared to reside in a 43-kDa peptide representing the internal region of the amino acid sequence, excluding the heparin-binding site. The latter two epitopes were differentiated from each other by reactivity of the antibody which inhibited collagen binding toward a smaller 20-kDa plasmin-derived peptide.

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