Native and multimeric vitronectin exhibit similar affinity for heparin: Differences in heparin binding properties induced upon denaturation are due to self-association into a multivalent form

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For many years, the concept that the heparin-binding sequence is sequestered within vitronectin and exposed upon denaturation of the protein has guided experimental design and interpretation of related structure- function studies on the protein. To evaluate binding of heparin to both native and denatured/renatured vitronectin, methods for monitoring binding in solution have been developed. A fluorescence method based on changes in an extrinsic probe attached to heparin has been used to evaluate heparin binding to native and denatured/renatured vitronectin. This approach indicates that there are not major differences in intrinsic heparin-binding affinities between native and renatured protein and invalidate the currently accepted model for a cryptic heparin-binding sequence in the protein. Denaturation and renaturation of vitronectin under near physiological solution conditions is accompanied invariably by self-association of the protein into a multimeric form (Zhuang, P., Blackburn, M. N., and Peterson, C. B. (1996) J. Biol. Chem. 271, 14323-14332), resulting in exposure of multiple heparin-binding sites on the surface of the oligomer. On the basis of the binding data from solution studies and interaction of the native monomer and the denatured multimeric form of vitronectin with a heparin column, along with evaluation of the ionic strength dependence of heparin binding to these vitronectin forms in solution, an alternative model is favored to account for the altered heparin binding properties of vitronectin associated with denaturation of the protein. This model proposes that multivalent interactions between heparin and multimeric vitronectin are responsible for differences in heparin affinity chromatography and ionic strength dependence compared with the native protein.

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Journal of Biological Chemistry

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