Mapping the collagen-binding site of human fibronectin by expression in Escherichia coli.
Owens RJ., Baralle FE.
The collagen-binding domain of human fibronectin has been expressed as a cro/beta-galactosidase fusion protein in Escherichia coli. The hybrid polypeptide was recognized by an anti-(human plasma fibronectin) serum and bound specifically to gelatin-Sepharose. The collagen-binding region was subdivided by constructing a series of overlapping bacterial expression plasmids. The fusion proteins produced by these constructs were analysed for gelatin-binding activity. The results indicate that the binding site lies within an approximately 12.5 kd fragment of fibronectin, and show that the following 14 amino acid sequence is critical for gelatin-binding activity: Ala-Ala-His-Glu-Glu-Ile-Cys-Thr-Thr-Asn-Glu-Gly-Val-Met. This sequence links the second type II homology unit with the adjacent type I repeat in the amino-terminal third of the fibronectin molecule.