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

Structural requirements for fibromodulin binding to collagen and the control of type I collagen fibrillogenesis--critical roles for disulphide bonding and the C-terminal region.

Fibromodulin belongs to the family of small, leucine-rich proteoglycans which have been reported to interact with collagens and to inhibit type I collagen fibrillogenesis. Decorin and fibromodulin exhibit a noticeable degree of sequence similarity. However, as previously reported [Font, B., Eichenberger, D., Rosenberg, L. M. & van der Rest, M. (1996) Matrix Biol. 15, 341-348] the domains of these molecules implicated in the interactions with type XII and type XIV collagens are different, these being the dermatan sulphate/chondroitin sulphate chain for decorin and the core protein for fibromodulin. At the present time the fibromodulin domains implicated in the interactions with fibrillar collagens remain unknown. In experiments reported here, we have sought to identify the structural requirements for fibromodulin interaction with collagen and for the control of type I collagen fibrillogenesis. Circular dichroism spectra and fibrillogenesis inhibition studies show that fibromodulin structure and its collagen fibrillogenesis control function are strictly dependent on the presence of intact disulphide bridge(s). In addition, we show that the binding of fibromodulin (or fibromodulin-derived fragments) to type I collagen is not necessarily correlated with fibrillogenesis inhibition. To isolate fibromodulin domains, the native proteoglycan was submitted to mild proteolysis. We have isolated an alpha-chymotrypsin-resistant fragment which contains the bulk of the N-terminal and central region of the molecule including the leucine-rich repeats 4 and 6 reported for decorin to be involved in type I collagen binding. This fragment does not bind to type I collagen. Using enzymes with different specificities, a number of large fragments of fibromodulin were obtained, suggesting a compact structure for this molecule which is relatively resistant to proteolysis. None of these N-glycosylated fragments were able to bind to type I collagen in co-sedimentation experiments. Taken together these results suggest that fibromodulin-type I collagen interactions leading to fibrillogenesis inhibition require more than one binding domain. One of these domains could be the C-terminal end of the molecule containing the disulphide loop which is absent in the chymotrypsin-resistant fragment.[1]


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