Recombinant domain IV of perlecan binds to nidogens, laminin–nidogen complex, fibronectin, fibulin-2 and heparin


R. Timpl, Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie,
Am Klopferspitz 18A, D-82152 Martinsried, Germany.
Tel. + 49-(0)89-8478-2440, Fax: + 49-(0)89-8578-2422.


Domain IV of mouse perlecan, which consists of 14 immunoglobulin superfamily (IG) modules, was prepared from recombinant human cell culture medium in the form of two fragments, IV-1 (IG2–9, 100 kDa) and IV-2 (IG10–15, 66 kDa). Both fragments bound to a heparin column, being eluted at ionic strengths either below (IV-2) or above (IV-1) physiological level, and could thus be readily purified. Electron microscopy demonstrated an elongated shape (20–25 nm), and folding into a native structure was indicated by immunological assay and CD spectroscopy. Solid-phase and surface plasmon resonance assays demonstrated strong binding of fragment IV-1 to fibronectin, nidogen-1, nidogen-2 and the laminin-1–nidogen-1 complex, with Kd values in the range 4–17 n m. The latter binding apparently occurs through nidogen-1, as shown by the formation of ternary complexes. Only moderate binding was observed for fibulin-2 and collagen IV and none for fibulin-1 and BM-40. Fragment IV-2 showed a more restricted pattern of binding, with only weaker binding to fibronectin and fibulin-2. None of these activities could be demonstrated for recombinant fragments corresponding to the N-terminal perlecan domains I to III. This indicates a special role for domain IV in the integration of perlecan into basement membranes and other extracellular structures via protein–protein interactions.