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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Covalent and non-covalent interactions of betaig-h3 with collagen VI. Beta ig-h3 is covalently attached to the amino-terminal region of collagen VI in tissue microfibrils.

Transforming growth factor-beta induced gene-h3 (betaig-h3) was found to co-purify with collagen VI microfibrils, extracted from developing fetal ligament, after equilibrium density gradient centrifugation under both nondenaturing and denaturing conditions. Analysis of the collagen VI fraction from the non-denaturing gradient by gel electrophoresis under non-reducing conditions revealed the present of a single high molecular weight band that immunostained for both collagen VI and betaig-h3. When the fraction was analyzed under reducing conditions, collagen VI alpha chains and betaig-h3 were the only species evident. The results indicated that betaig-h3 is associated with collagen VI in tissues by reducible covalent bonding, presumably disulfide bridges. Rotary shadowing and immunogold staining of the collagen VI microfibrils and isolated tetramers indicated that betaig-h3 was specifically and periodically associated with the double-beaded region of many of the microfibrils and that this covalent binding site was located in or near the amino-terminal globular domain of the collagen VI molecule. Using solid phase and co-immunoprecipitation assays, recombinant betaig-h3 was found to bind both native and pepsin-treated collagen VI but not individual pepsin-collagen VI alpha chains. Blocking experiments indicated that the major in vitro betaig-h3 binding site was located in the pepsin-resistant region of collagen VI. In contrast to the tissue situation, the in vitro interaction had the characteristics of a reversible non-covalent interaction, and the Kd was measured as 1.63 x 10(-8) m. Rotary shadowing of immunogold-labeled complexes of recombinant betaig-h3 and pepsin-collagen VI indicated that the in vitro betaig-h3 binding site was located close to the amino-terminal end of the collagen VI triple helix. The evidence indicates that collagen VI may contain distinct covalent and non-covalent binding sites for betaig-h3, although the possibility that both interactions use the same binding region is discussed. Overall the study supports the concept that betaig-h3 is extensively associated with collagen VI in some tissues and that it plays an important modulating role in collagen VI microfibril function.[1]


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