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

Molecular characterization of vascular smooth muscle decorin: deduced core protein structure and regulation of gene expression.

Two overlapping clones containing sequences homologous to bovine, human and chicken decorin have been recovered from poly A+ RNA isolated from rat vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) using cDNA cloning and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) methodologies. Results of nucleotide sequence analysis performed on these clones demonstrated that they encode the complete mature rat decorin protein expressed by VSMC. Within the coding region, rat decorin exhibits 76% nucleotide sequence homology to human and bovine decorin, and 69% homologous to chicken decorin indicating a significant level of conservation among these species. This level of conservation among species was also maintained at the protein level with rat decorin being 77% homologous to its human, bovine and chicken homologues. As previously observed its human homologue, rat decorin, is made up of seven, tandem, leucine-rich repeat sequences. Furthermore, within the core of these repeats was the consensus protein sequence NKISK which has been proposed to be the fibronectin binding region of decorin (G. Schmidt et al., Biochem. J. 280, 411-414 (1991)). The vast majority of amino acid substitutions within rat decorin were of the conservative type. The highest frequency of amino acid substitutions were found to be localized within a hypervariable region located near the amino terminus of the decorin core protein. Unlike rat biglycan, rat decorin mRNA levels were found to increase significantly in density-arrested VSMC cultures. In contrast to rat biglycan gene expression, no quantitative differences in rat decorin mRNA levels were observed between proliferating VSMC and VSMC made quiescent through serum depletion. Finally, specific extracellular matrix ( ECM) proteins were able to regulate the expression of decorin at the mRNA level in a slightly different manner than previously observed for biglycan.[1]


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