A combinatorial approach for directing the amount of fibronectin fibrils assembled by cells that uses surfaces derivatized with mixtures of fibronectin and cell binding domains



Fibrillar fibronectin (FN) has the crucial role of attracting and attaching cells as well as molecules that mediate tissue repair during wound healing. A previous study demonstrated higher extracellular staining of FN fibrils in cells cultured on surfaces tethered with an equimolar mixture of a FN binding domain and FN's cell binding domain, III1-2 and III9-10 respectively, than on surfaces with III9-10 alone. The effect of varying surface amounts of III1-2 and III9-10 on the quantity of FN fibrils formed by NIH-3T3 fibroblasts was examined. GST tagged III1-2 and III9-10 were conjugated to polyurethane surfaces and ELISAs were used to identify the experimental design space or the range of concentrations of GST-III1-2 and GST-III9-10 that demarcated the limits of protein loading on the surface. When GST-III1-2 was fixed and GST-III9-10 varied within the design space, the amount of FN fibrils measured by immunoblotting detergent insoluble cell lysates was dependent on the ratio of III9-10 to III1-2. When the total protein concentration was fixed and the mixture composition of GST-III1-2 and GST-III9-10 varied such that it optimally covered the design space, a parabolic relationship between FN fibril amount and the ratio of III9-10 to III1-2 was obtained. This relationship had a maximum value when the surface was bonded to equal amounts of III1-2 and III9-10 (P < 0.05). Thus the ratio of III9-10 to III1-2 can be utilized to direct the quantity of FN fibrils formed on surfaces. © 2012 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 2012