PMID: 6989603Mar 1, 1980Paper

Spontaneous and polyamine-induced formation of filamentous polymers from soluble fibronectin

European Journal of Biochemistry
M VuentoA Vaheri


Fibronectin is a high-molecular-weight glycoprotein present in a soluble form in plasma and in other body fluids and as insoluble protein in connective tissue matrix. This study reports that soluble fibronectin is polymerized into filamentous structures and that polyamines stimulate this process and precipitate fibronectin. Fibronectin purified from human plasma under non-denaturing conditions appeared after negative staining as non-globular extended structures in the electron microscope. During storage of purified fibronectin at +4 degrees C, in particular a low ionic strength, increasing amounts of the protein appeared as protein filaments. These filaments had a diameter of 2--3 nm and a length of up to several micrometers. The filaments also formed bundles of variable thickness, apparently through lateral association. These structures could also be visualized by phase-contrast microscopy. Polyamines, at a concentration of 1--5 mM and at a low ionic strength, induced a rapid, extensive polymerization of fibronectin into filamentous structures. The effect increased in the order putrescine less than spermidine less than spermine. Polyamine-induced precipitation of fibronectin was reversible upon removal of the polyamine. Fibron...Continue Reading


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