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

Interaction of fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) with free gangliosides: biochemical characterization and biological consequences in endothelial cell cultures.

Exogenous gangliosides affect the angiogenic activity of fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2), but their mechanism of action has not been elucidated. Here, a possible direct interaction of sialo-glycolipids with FGF-2 has been investigated. Size exclusion chromatography demonstrates that native, but not heat-denatured, 125I-FGF-2 binds to micelles formed by gangliosides GT1b, GD1b, or GM1. Also, gangliosides protect native FGF-2 from trypsin digestion at micromolar concentrations, the order of relative potency being GT1b > GD1b > GM1 = GM2 = sulfatide > GM3 = galactosyl-ceramide, whereas asialo-GM1, neuraminic acid, and N-acetylneuramin-lactose were ineffective. Scatchard plot analysis of the binding data of fluorochrome-labeled GM1 to immobilized FGF-2 indicates that FGF-2/GM1 interaction occurs with a Kd equal to 6 microM. This interaction is inhibited by the sialic acid-binding peptide mastoparan and by the synthetic fragments FGF-2(112-129) and, to a lesser extent, FGF-2(130-155), whereas peptides FGF-2(10-33), FGF-2(39-59), FGF-2(86-96), and the basic peptide HIV-1 Tat(41-60) were ineffective. These data identify the COOH terminus of FGF-2 as a putative ganglioside-binding region. Exogenous gangliosides inhibit the binding of 125I-FGF-2 to high-affinity tyrosine-kinase FGF-receptors (FGFRs) of endothelial GM 7373 cells at micromolar concentrations. The order of relative potency was GT1b > GD1b > GM1 > sulfatide a = sialo-GM1. Accordingly, GT1b,GD1b, GM1, and GM2, but not GM3 and asialo-GM1, prevent the binding of 125I-FGF-2 to a soluble, recombinant form of extracellular FGFR-1. Conversely, the soluble receptor and free heparin inhibit the interaction of fluorochrome-labeled GM1 to immobilized FGF-2. In agreement with their FGFR antagonist activity, free gangliosides inhibit the mitogenic activity exerted by FGF-2 on endothelial cells in the same range of concentrations. Also in this case, GT1b was the most effective among the gangliosides tested while asialo-GM1, neuraminic acid, N-acetylneuramin-lactose, galactosyl-ceramide, and sulfatide were ineffective. In conclusion, the data demonstrate the capacity of exogenous gangliosides to interact with FGF-2. This interaction involves the COOH terminus of the FGF-2 molecule and depends on the structure of the oligosaccharide chain and on the presence of sialic acid residue(s) in the ganglioside molecule. Exogenous gangliosides act as FGF-2 antagonists when added to endothelial cell cultures. Since gangliosides are extensively shed by tumor cells and reach elevated levels in the serum of tumor-bearing patients, our data suggest that exogenous gangliosides may affect endothelial cell function by a direct interaction with FGF-2, thus modulating tumor neovascularization.[1]


  1. Interaction of fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) with free gangliosides: biochemical characterization and biological consequences in endothelial cell cultures. Rusnati, M., Tanghetti, E., Urbinati, C., Tulipano, G., Marchesini, S., Ziche, M., Presta, M. Mol. Biol. Cell (1999) [Pubmed]
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