Fibrillin-1 and -2 contain heparin-binding sites important for matrix deposition and that support cell attachment

Biochem J. 2003 Oct 15;375(Pt 2):425-32. doi: 10.1042/BJ20030649.


Fibrillin-1 and -2 are large modular extracellular matrix glycoproteins found in many vertebrate organ systems and are known to be key components of the elastic fibre. In the present study, we identify a new heparin-binding region in fibrillin-2 between exons 18 and 24. Additionally, we have narrowed the location of heparin-binding activity previously identified in fibrillin-1 to the last 17 residues of the mature proteolytically processed protein. This domain demonstrated higher activity as a multimer than as a monomer. The fibrillin-1 C-terminal site supported cell attachment in each of nine cell types tested. Attachment was shown to be mediated by cell-surface heparan sulphate proteoglycans. Fibrillin-1 has been shown previously to have heparin-binding activity that is important for matrix deposition of the molecule by fibroblasts. This function in deposition was confirmed in two additional fibrillin-producing cell types (osteosarcoma and epithelial cells) for the deposition of both fibrillin-1 and -2 into the extracellular matrix.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Binding Sites / genetics
  • CHO Cells
  • COS Cells
  • Cell Adhesion / drug effects
  • Cell Adhesion / physiology
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Cricetinae
  • Dimerization
  • Epithelial Cells / cytology
  • Extracellular Matrix / drug effects
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism*
  • Fibrillin-1
  • Fibrillin-2
  • Fibrillins
  • Glycosaminoglycans / pharmacology
  • Heparin / metabolism*
  • Heparin / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Jurkat Cells
  • Mice
  • Microfilament Proteins / chemistry
  • Microfilament Proteins / genetics
  • Microfilament Proteins / metabolism*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • NIH 3T3 Cells
  • Osteosarcoma / pathology
  • Proteoglycans / pharmacology


  • FBN1 protein, human
  • FBN2 protein, human
  • Fbn1 protein, mouse
  • Fbn2 protein, mouse
  • Fibrillin-1
  • Fibrillin-2
  • Fibrillins
  • Glycosaminoglycans
  • Microfilament Proteins
  • Proteoglycans
  • Heparin