Tenascin C Promiscuously Binds Growth Factors via Its Fifth Fibronectin Type III-Like Domain

Laura De Laporte, Jeffrey J. Rice, Federico Tortelli, Jeffrey A. Hubbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Tenascin C (TNC) is an extracellular matrix protein that is upregulated during development as well as tissue remodeling. TNC is comprised of multiple independent folding domains, including 15 fibronectin type III-like (TNCIII) domains. The fifth TNCIII domain (TNCIII5) has previously been shown to bind heparin. Our group has shown that the heparin-binding fibronectin type III domains of fibronectin (FNIII), specifically FNIII12-14, possess affinity towards a large number of growth factors. Here, we show that TNCIII5 binds growth factors promiscuously and with high affinity. We produced recombinant fragments of TNC representing the first five TNCIII repeats (TNCIII1-5), as well as subdomains, including TNCIII5, to study interactions with various growth factors. Multiple growth factors of the platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) family, the fibroblast growth factor (FGF) family, the transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) superfamily, the insulin-like growth factor binding proteins (IGF-BPs), and neurotrophins were found to bind with high affinity to this region of TNC, specifically to TNCIII5. Surface plasmon resonance was performed to analyze the kinetics of binding of TNCIII1-5 with TGF-β1, PDGF-BB, NT-3, and FGF-2. The promiscuous yet high affinity of TNC for a wide array of growth factors, mediated mainly by TNCIII5, may play a role in multiple physiological and pathological processes involving TNC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere62076
JournalPloS one
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 18 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Tenascin C Promiscuously Binds Growth Factors via Its Fifth Fibronectin Type III-Like Domain'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this