Identification of novel fibronectin fragments detected specifically in juvenile urine


R. Iida, Division of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Fukui, Fukui 910-1193, Japan
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Ugl-Y (young age-related urinary glycoprotein) is an age-specific protein that we have previously identified in urine from healthy subjects under 18 years of age. Isoelectric focusing analysis of Ugl-Y gives a set of three bands, Y1, Y2 and Y3, in the pH region around 3. To determine the complete structure of Ugl-Y, purified Y1 and Y2 from pediatric urine were enzymatically cleaved, and the resulting peptides were analyzed by protein sequencing and/or MALDI-TOF MS. As a result, it was demonstrated that Y1 consists of 189 amino acid residues, and is identical to the region from A723 to R911 of fibronectin, whereas Y2 consists of 181 amino acid residues, and is identical to the region from A723 to R903. Electrophoretic analysis of the lysate prepared from COS-7 cells transfected with Y1- or Y2-expressing vectors gave specific bands corresponding to Y1 or Y2, respectively, showing the validity of the sequences determined. Partial purification of pediatric serum followed by western blotting revealed that Ugl-Y is derived from plasma. Furthermore, Ugl-Y was generated by in vitro digestion of fibronectin by acid protease in extracts of osteoclast cells. These findings suggest that Ugl-Y is probably produced by degradation of fibronectin comprising bone matrix during the process of vigorous bone resorption in children and adolescents. This is the first report on the identification and characterization of juvenile-specific fibronectin fragments excreted into urine.