The conformation-dependent interaction of alpha 2-macroglobulin with vascular endothelial growth factor. A novel mechanism of alpha 2-macroglobulin/growth factor binding.
alpha(2)-Macroglobulin (alpha(2)M) is a highly conserved proteinase inhibitor present in human plasma at high concentration (2-4 mg/ml). alpha(2)M exists in two conformations, a native form and an activated, receptor-recognized form. While alpha(2)M binds to numerous cytokines and growth factors, in most cases, the nature of the alpha(2)M interaction with these factors is poorly understood. We examined in detail the interaction between alpha(2)M and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and found a novel and unexpected mechanism of interaction as demonstrated by the following observations: 1) the binding of VEGF to alpha(2)M occurs at a site distinct from the recently characterized growth factor binding site; 2) VEGF binds different forms of alpha(2)M with distinct spatial arrangement, namely to the interior of methylamine or ammonia-treated alpha(2)M and to the exterior of native and proteinase-converted alpha(2)M; and 3) VEGF (molecular mass approximately 40 kDa) can access the interior of receptor-recognized alpha(2)M in the absence of a proteinase trapped within the molecule. VEGF bound to receptor-recognized forms of alpha(2)M is internalized and degraded by macrophages via the alpha(2)M receptor, the low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein. Oxidation of both native and receptor-recognized alpha(2)M results in significant inhibition of VEGF binding. We also examined the biological significance of this interaction by studying the effect of alpha(2)M on VEGF-induced cell proliferation and VEGF-induced up-regulation of intracellular Ca(2+) levels. We demonstrate that under physiological conditions, alpha(2)M does not impact the ability of VEGF to induce cell proliferation or up-regulate Ca(2+).
Bhattacharjee, G; Asplin, IR; Wu, SM; Gawdi, G; Pizzo, SV
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