Prodomains of transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) Superfamily members specify different functions: Extracellular matrix interactions and growth factor bioavailability

Gerhard Sengle, Robert N. Ono, Takako Sasaki, Lynn Y. Sakai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

103 Scopus citations


The specific functions of the prodomains of TGFβ superfamily members are largely unknown. Interactions are known between prodomains of TGFβ-1-3 and latent TGFβ-binding proteins and between prodomains of BMP-2, -4, -7, and -10 and GDF-5 and fibrillins, raising the possibility that latent TGFβ-binding proteins and fibrillins may mediate interactions with all other prodomains of this superfamily. This possibility is tested in this study. Results show that the prodomain of BMP-5 interacts with the N-terminal regions of fibrillin-1 and -2 in a site similar to the binding sites for other bone morphogenetic proteins. However, in contrast, the prodomain of GDF-8 (myostatin) interacts with the glycosaminoglycan side chains of perlecan. The binding site for the GDF-8 prodomain is likely the heparan sulfate chain present on perlecan domain V. These results support and extend the emerging concept that TGFβ superfamily prodomains target their growth factor dimers to extracellular matrix macromolecules. In addition, biochemical studies of prodomain·growth factor complexes were performed to identify inactive complexes. For some members of the superfamily, the prodomain is noncovalently associated with its growth factor dimer in an inactive complex; for others, the prodomain·growth factor complex is active, even though the prodomain is noncovalently associated with its growth factor dimer. Results show that the BMP-10 prodomain, in contrast to BMP-4, -5, and -7 prodomains, can inhibit the bioactivity of the BMP-10 growth factor and suggest that the BMP-10 complex is like TGFβ and GDF-8 complexes, which can be activated by cleavage of the associated prodomain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5087-5099
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number7
StatePublished - Feb 18 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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