Type XI collagen is a quantitatively minor yet essential constituent of the cartilage extracellular matrix. The amino propeptide of the 1 chain remains attached to the rest of the molecule for a longer period of time after synthesis than the other amino propeptides of type XI collagen and has been localized to the surface of thin collagen fibrils. Yeast two-hybrid system was used to demonstrate that a homodimer of 1(XI) amino propeptide (1(XI)Npp) could form in vivo. Interaction was also confirmed using multi-angle laser light scattering, detecting an absolute weight average molar mass ranging from the size of a monomer to the size of a dimer (25,000–50,000 g/mol), respectively. Binding was shown to be saturable by ELISA. An interaction between recombinant 1(XI)Npp and the endogenous 1(XI)Npp was observed, and specificity for 1(XI)Npp but not 2(XI)Npp was demonstrated by co-precipitation. The interaction between the recombinant form of 1(XI)Npp and the endogenous 1(XI)Npp resulted in a stable association during the regeneration of cartilage extracellular matrix by fetal bovine chondrocytes maintained in pellet culture, generating a protein that migrated with an apparent molecular mass of 50–60 kDa on an SDS-polyacrylamide gel.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/julia_oxford/45/