Fibrillins: Sequence, phylogeny and carboxy terminal domain proteolytic processing

Timothy Mark Ritty, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


Fibrillin-1 and -2 are large secreted glycoproteins that are known to be components of extracellular matrix microfibrils located in the vasculature, basement membrane and various connective tissues. These microfibrils are often associated with a superstructure known as the elastic fiber. During the development of elastic tissues, fibrillin microfibrils precede the appearance of elastin and may provide a scaffolding for the deposition and crosslinking of elastin. Using RT/PCR, we cloned and sequenced 3.85Kbp of the FBN2 gene. Five differences were found between our contig sequence and that published by Zhang et al. (1995). Like many extracellular matrix proteins, the fibrillins are modular proteins. We compared analogous domains of the two fibrillins and also members of the latent TGF-$\beta$ binding protein (LTBP) family to determine their phylogenetic relationship. We found that the two families are homologous. LTBP-2 is the most similar to the fibrillin family while FBN-1 is the most similar to the LTBP family. The fibrillin-1 carboxy terminal domain is proteolytically processed. Two eukaryotic protein expression systems, baculoviral and CHO-K1, were developed to examine the proteolytic processing of the carboxy terminal domain of the fibrillin-1 protein. Both expression systems successfully processed the domain and both processed a mutant less efficiently. In the CHO-K1 cells, processing occurred intracellularly.

Subject Area

Cellular biology|Genetics

Recommended Citation

Ritty, Timothy Mark, "Fibrillins: Sequence, phylogeny and carboxy terminal domain proteolytic processing" (1997). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9732775.