Fibrillin-1 is a ubiquitous extracellular matrix molecule that sequesters latent growth factor complexes. A role for fibrillin-1 in specifying tissue microenvironments has not been elucidated, even though the concept that fibrillin-1 provides extracellular control of growth factor signaling is currently appreciated. Mutations in FBN1 are mainly responsible for the Marfan syndrome (MFS), recognized by its pleiotropic clinical features including tall stature and arachnodactyly, aortic dilatation and dissection, and ectopia lentis. Each of the many different mutations in FBN1 known to cause MFS must lead to similar clinical features through common mechanisms, proceeding principally through the activation of TGFβ signaling. Here we show that a novel FBN1 mutation in a family with Weill-Marchesani syndrome (WMS) causes thick skin, short stature, and brachydactyly when replicated in mice. WMS mice confirm that this mutation does not cause MFS. The mutation deletes three domains in fibrillin-1, abolishing a binding site utilized by ADAMTSLIKE-2, -3, -6, and papilin. Our results place these ADAMTSLIKE proteins in a molecular pathway involving fibrillin-1 and ADAMTS-10. Investigations of microfibril ultrastructure in WMS humans and mice demonstrate that modulation of the fibrillin microfibril scaffold can influence local tissue microenvironments and link fibrillin-1 function to skin homeostasis and the regulation of dermal collagen production. Hence, pathogenetic mechanisms caused by dysregulated WMS microenvironments diverge from Marfan pathogenetic mechanisms, which lead to broad activation of TGFβ signaling in multiple tissues. We conclude that local tissue-specific microenvironments, affected in WMS, are maintained by a fibrillin-1 microfibril scaffold, modulated by ADAMTSLIKE proteins in concert with ADAMTS enzymes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Molecular Biology
- Cancer Research