LTBPs, more than just an escort service



Latent transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) binding proteins (LTBPs) are large extracellular glycoproteins structurally similar to fibrillins. They perform intricate and important roles in the extracellular matrix (ECM) and perturbations of their function manifest as a wide range of diseases. LTBPs are major regulators of TGF-β bioavailability and action. In addition, LTBPs interact with other ECM proteins—from cytokines to large multi-factorial aggregates like microfibrils and elastic fibers, affecting their genesis, structure, and performance. In the present article, we review recent advancements in the field and relate the complex roles of LTBP in development and homeostasis. J. Cell. Biochem. 113: 410–418, 2012. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.