Proteinases of the bone morphogenetic protein-1 family convert procollagen VII to mature anchoring fibril collagen. (1/17)

Collagen VII is the major structural component of the anchoring fibrils at the dermal-epidermal junction in the skin. It is secreted by keratinocytes as a precursor, procollagen VII, and processed into mature collagen during polymerization of the anchoring fibrils. We show that bone morphogenetic protein-1 (BMP-1), which exhibits procollagen C-proteinase activity, cleaves the C-terminal propeptide from human procollagen VII. The cleavage occurs at the BMP-1 consensus cleavage site SYAA/DTAG within the NC-2 domain. Mammalian tolloid-like (mTLL)-1 and -2, two other proteases of the astacin enzyme family, were able to process procollagen VII at the same site in vitro. Immunohistochemical and genetic evidence supported the involvement of these enzymes in cleaving type VII procollagen in vivo. Both BMP-1 and mTLL-1 are expressed in the skin and in cultured cutaneous cells. A naturally occurring deletion in the human COL7A1 gene, 8523del14, which is associated with dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa and eliminates the BMP-1 consensus sequence, abolished processing of procollagen VII, and in mutant skin procollagen VII accumulated at the dermal-epidermal junction. On the other hand, deficiency of BMP-1 in the skin of knockout mouse embryos did not prevent processing of procollagen VII to mature collagen, suggesting that mTLL-1 and/or mTLL-2 can substitute for BMP-1 in the processing of procollagen VII in situ.  (+info)

Is there an evolutionary relationship between WARP (von Willebrand factor A-domain-related protein) and the FACIT and FACIT-like collagens? (2/17)

We suggest that there is an evolutionary relationship between von Willebrand factor A-domain-related protein (WARP), and the fibril-associated collagen with interrupted triple helix (FACIT) and FACIT-like subfamilies of collagens. Data from a comparison of amino acid sequences, domain organisation and chromosomal location are consistent with the hypothesis that WARP and these collagens share a common collagen ancestor. In support of this is the observation that the WARP 3' coding region is GC-rich suggesting that this may represent the remnant of a triple helix protein domain which WARP has 'lost' during evolution.  (+info)

Expression of FACIT collagens XII and XIV during bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis in mice. (3/17)

Collagens XII and XIV are members of a subfamily of fibril-associated collagens with interrupted triple-helices (FACITs) that facilitate the interactions of adjacent collagen fibrils. Using immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization, we analyzed the spatial and temporal expression pattern of collagens XII and XIV during bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis. C57Bl mice were treated with bleomycin (1 U, i.p., every other day for 8 days) or saline (control), and lung tissue samples were analyzed 2-12 weeks later. Collagen I protein expression was increased in the lung 2 weeks post bleomycin treatment and persisted for at least 12 weeks. In contrast, collagen XII and XIV expression was low until 4 weeks after bleomycin treatment. Whereas collagen XII expression was greatest between 4 weeks and 8 weeks, expression of collagen XIV persisted from 4 to 12 weeks, which suggests that these two proteins may play distinct roles in the fibrotic process. The mRNA for lysyl oxidase (LOX), an enzyme for cross-linking of collagens, had a delayed increase in the lung after bleomycin administration. It reached a maximum after 8 weeks, and persisted throughout the 12 weeks of the study. These data support the hypothesis that fibrosis is a multistep process that involves both collagen accumulation and changes in the molecules that modulate the biomechanical properties of fibrils.  (+info)

Single amino acid substitutions in procollagen VII affect early stages of assembly of anchoring fibrils. (4/17)

Procollagen VII is a homotrimer of 350-kDa pro-alpha1(VII) chains, each consisting of a central collagenous domain flanked by the noncollagenous N-terminal NC1 domain and the C-terminal NC2 domain. After secretion from cells, procollagen VII molecules form anti-parallel dimers with a C-terminal 60-nm overlap. Characteristic alignment of procollagen VII monomers forming a dimer depends on site-specific binding between the NC2 domain and the triple-helical region adjacent to Cys-2634 of the interacting procollagen VII molecules. Formation of the intermolecular disulfide bonds between Cys-2634 and either Cys-2802 or Cys-2804 is promoted by the cleavage of the NC2 domain by procollagen C-proteinase. By employing recombinant procollagen VII variants harboring G2575R, R2622Q, or G2623C substitutions previously disclosed in patients with dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa, we studied how these amino acid substitutions affect intermolecular interactions. Binding assays utilizing an optical biosensor demonstrated that the G2575R substitution increased affinity between mutant molecules. In contrast, homotypic binding between the R2622Q or G2623C molecules was not detected. In addition, kinetics of heterotypic binding of all analyzed mutants to wild type collagen VII were different from those for binding between wild type molecules. Moreover, solid-state binding assays demonstrated that R2622Q and G2623C substitutions prevent formation of stable assemblies of procollagen C-proteinase-processed mutants. These results indicate that single amino acid substitutions in procollagen VII alter its self-assembly and provide a basis for understanding the pathomechanisms leading from mutations in the COL7A1 gene to fragility of the dermal-epidermal junction seen in patients with dystrophic forms of epidermolysis bullosa.  (+info)

Development of tendon structure and function: regulation of collagen fibrillogenesis. (5/17)

In the tendon, the development of mature mechanical properties is dependent on the assembly of a tendon-specific extracellular matrix. This matrix is synthesized by the tendon fibroblasts and composed of collagen fibrils organized as fibers, as well as fibril-associated collagenous and non-collagenous proteins. All of these components are integrated, during development and growth, to form a functional tissue. During tendon development, collagen fibrillogenesis and matrix assembly progress through multiple steps where each step is regulated independently, culminating in a structurally and functionally mature tissue. Collagen fibrillogenesis occurs in a series of extracellular compartments where fibril intermediates are assembled and mature fibrils grow through a process of post-depositional fusion of the intermediates. Linear and lateral fibril growth occurs after the immature fibril intermediates are incorporated into fibers. The processes are regulated by interactions of extracellular macromolecules with the fibrils. Interactions with quantitatively minor fibrillar collagens, fibril-associated collagens and proteoglycans influence different steps in fibrillogenesis and the extracellular microdomains provide a mechanism for the tendon fibroblasts to regulate these extracellular interactions.  (+info)

Effects of fibril- or fixed-collagen on matrix metalloproteinase-1 and tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinase-1 production in the human hepatocyte cell line HLE. (6/17)

AIM: Matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1) and tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP-1) are central to the spontaneous resolution of liver fibrosis. The mechanisms involved have been investigated in hepatic stellate cells (HSC), but not in hepatocytes. We investigated the effects of fibril- and fixed-collagen on MMP-1 and TIMP-1 production in hepatocytes, using the HLE cell line. METHODS: Fibril type I and IV collagen were prepared by HCl digestion of type I and IV collagen, respectively. For fixed-collagen, culture dishes were coated with fibril type I or IV collagen and fixed by ultraviolet. Type I collagenase activity was measured using fluorescein isothiocyanate-labeled type I collagen. MMP-1 and TIMP-1 in HLE cells were measured by a one-step sandwich enzyme immunoassay. RESULTS: Both fibril type I and IV collagen significantly increased type I collagenase activity about two-fold compared with no fibril collagen. The effects of the fibril collagen were not affected by the coating condition. There was no significant difference in the effects on collagenase activity between cells cultured in medium containing fibril type I collagen and those cultured in the presence of type IV collagen. Both types of fibril collagen significantly increased MMP-1 production, and showed more than 10-fold higher levels of MMP-1 than the control. The enhanced MMP-1 production by fibril collagens was unaffected by the coating condition. By contrast, TIMP-1 production was not changed by the addition of fibril type I or IV collagen, and neither was it affected by the coating conditions. Coating with type I collagen significantly suppressed MMP-1 production by almost one-tenth compared with no coating. By contrast, TIMP-1 production was not affected by either the absence of a collagen coat or by increasing the concentration of the coating collagen. CONCLUSION: These results indicated that, in HLE cells, fibril- and fixed-collagen have opposite effects on MMP-1 production without affecting TIMP production. Fibril collagen induced collagenase activity by up-regulation of MMP-1 production without affecting TIMP-1 production. By contrast, fixed collagen reduced MMP-1 production. Our results suggest that hepatocytes might also play an important role in the regulation of the hepatic fibrosis alongside HSC.  (+info)

Deficiency of disulfide bonds facilitating fibrillogenesis of endostatin. (7/17)

Endostatin is an endogenous inhibitor of tumor angiogenesis and tumor growth. It has two pairs of disulfide bonds in a unique nested pattern, which play a key role in its native conformation, stability, and activity. Here, we constructed a disulfide-deficient variant of endostatin, endo-all-Ala, to examine the effects of the two disulfide bonds on fibrillogenesis of endostatin under nondenaturing conditions. Based on thioflavin T fluorescence, atomic force microscopy, far-UV circular dichroism, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, we found that endo-all-Ala, which has a higher alpha-helical content compared with wild type, is prone to forming fibrils in a pH-dependent manner. Subsequently, more hydrophobic patches with a lower stability of endo-all-Ala were observed when compared with wild type, which possibly contributes to the propensity of amyloid formation of endo-all-Ala. To our surprise, the significant increase of the alpha-helical content in endostatin induced by trifluoroethanol can also facilitate fibril formation. In addition, the cytotoxicity of fibrillar aggregates of endo-all-Ala, which were generated at different stages of the fibril formation process, was evaluated by cell viability assay. The results indicate that the cytotoxicity is not due to the fibrils but rather due to the granular aggregates of endo-all-Ala. Moreover, endostatin was interestingly found to be reduced by glutathione at physiological concentrations. Our present work not only elucidates the correlation between the existence of disulfide bonds and the fibril formation of endostatin but also may provide some insights into the structural and functional basis of endostatin in Alzheimer disease brains.  (+info)

Ultrastructure of the reticular basement membrane in asthmatic adults, children and infants. (8/17)

Reticular basement membrane (RBM) thickening in asthma is considered to be the result of subepithelial fibrosis. Thus, the RBM in asthma should contain an excess of fibrils identified as interstitial collagen and the ratio of fibril to matrix should be increased above normal levels. Electron micrographs of the RBM were compared with those of interstitial collagen deeper in the bronchial wall using endobronchial biopsy specimens from adult asthmatics (aged 18-41 yrs (n = 10)), children with difficult asthma (aged 6-16 yrs (n = 10)), wheezy infants with reversible airflow limitation (aged 0.3-2 yrs (n = 10)) and age-matched nonasthmatic controls: 10 adults, nine children and nine symptomatic infants with normal lung function. Fibrils in the RBM were significantly thinner (median (range) width 39 (30-52) nm versus 59 (48-73) nm), and fewer fibrils were banded than in the interstitial collagen (ratio of banded to non-banded fibrils 0.08 (0-0.17) versus 0.22 (0-1.3)). The ratio of fibrils to matrix in the thickened RBM of asthmatics did not differ from that of their respective controls (1.34 (0.63-2.49) versus 1.18 (0.31-2.6)). The ratio of fibril to matrix in the thickened reticular basement membrane of asthmatics is normal, and, contrary to what is expected in fibrosis, the fibrils do not resemble those of interstitial collagen.  (+info)