Endothelial cells adhere to the RGD domain and the fibrinogen-like terminal knob of tenascin.
We have found that endothelial cells adhere much more strongly than fibroblasts to domains of tenascin and fibronectin. Endothelial cells adhered weakly, without spreading, to bacterial expression proteins corresponding to the tenth fibronectin type III (FN-III) domain of fibronectin, which contains the RGD. A larger fibronectin protein, containing this domain and the three amino-terminal 'synergy' domains gave strong adhesion and spreading. Two widely separated domains of tenascin gave adhesion. The third FN-III domain, TNfn3, which contains an RGD sequence in human and chicken tenascin, gave very strong adhesion and spreading of endothelial cells when tested as an isolated domain. Larger segments containing TNfn3 and the adjacent TNfn2 gave weaker adhesion, probably because the RGD sequence is partially blocked. Adhesion to this domain required divalent cations, was exquisitely sensitive to soluble GRGDSP peptide, and was blocked by antisera to the integrin alpha v beta 3. The second tenascin adhesion domain was the fibrinogen-like C-terminal knob, TNfbg. Cells adhered to but did not spread on this domain. This adhesion required divalent cations and was also sensitive to GRGDSP peptide, so it may be mediated by an integrin receptor. We have explored a range of conditions for preparing the adhesion substratum, and our results may resolve the controversy over whether tenascin can act as a substratum adhesion molecule. When coated for short times (1-2 hours) on plastic, tenascin had no adhesion activity, in contrast to fibronectin and the expression proteins, which gave strong adhesion under these conditions. When coated for longer times (12-24 hours) on plastic, the tenascin substratum supported good adhesion, but not spreading, of endothelial cells. Tenascin coated on nitrocellulose gave substantially stronger adhesion than on plastic, but still required long coating times for maximal activity. Adhesion of endothelial cells to native TN was inhibited by GRDGSP peptide. The cell adhesion activity demonstrates the presence on endothelial cells of tenascin receptors, which may play a supportive role in angiogenesis, in the structure of blood vessels, or in binding tenascin to the cell surface to elicit or enhance a signalling function.
Joshi, P; Chung, CY; Aukhil, I; Erickson, HP
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