Modeling autosomal recessive cutis laxa type 1C in mice reveals distinct functions for Ltbp-4 isoforms.
ABSTRACT: Recent studies have revealed an important role for LTBP-4 in elastogenesis. Its mutational inactivation in humans causes autosomal recessive cutis laxa type 1C (ARCL1C), which is a severe disorder caused by defects of the elastic fiber network. Although the human gene involved in ARCL1C has been discovered based on similar elastic fiber abnormalities exhibited by mice lacking the short Ltbp-4 isoform (Ltbp4S(-/-)), the murine phenotype does not replicate ARCL1C. We therefore inactivated both Ltbp-4 isoforms in the mouse germline to model ARCL1C. Comparative analysis of Ltbp4S(-/-) and Ltbp4-null (Ltbp4(-/-)) mice identified Ltbp-4L as an important factor for elastogenesis and postnatal survival, and showed that it has distinct tissue expression patterns and specific molecular functions. We identified fibulin-4 as a previously unknown interaction partner of both Ltbp-4 isoforms and demonstrated that at least Ltbp-4L expression is essential for incorporation of fibulin-4 into the extracellular matrix (ECM). Overall, our results contribute to the current understanding of elastogenesis and provide an animal model of ARCL1C.
Project description:Elastogenesis is a hierarchical process by which cells form functional elastic fibers, providing elasticity and the ability to regulate growth factor bioavailability in tissues, including blood vessels, lung, and skin. This process requires accessory proteins, including fibulin-4 and -5, and latent TGF binding protein (LTBP)-4. Our data demonstrate mechanisms in elastogenesis, focusing on the interaction and functional interdependence between fibulin-4 and LTBP-4L and its impact on matrix deposition and function. We show that LTBP-4L is not secreted in the expected extended structure based on its domain composition, but instead adopts a compact conformation. Interaction with fibulin-4 surprisingly induced a conformational switch from the compact to an elongated LTBP-4L structure. This conversion was only induced by fibulin-4 multimers associated with increased avidity for LTBP-4L; fibulin-4 monomers were inactive. The fibulin-4-induced conformational change caused functional consequences in LTBP-4L in terms of binding to other elastogenic proteins, including fibronectin and fibrillin-1, and of LTBP-4L assembly. A transient exposure of LTBP-4L with fibulin-4 was sufficient to stably induce conformational and functional changes; a stable complex was not required. These data define fibulin-4 as a molecular extracellular chaperone for LTBP-4L. The altered LTBP-4L conformation also promoted elastogenesis, but only in the presence of fibulin-4, which is required to escort tropoelastin onto the extended LTBP-4L molecule. Altogether, this study provides a dual mechanism for fibulin-4 in 1) inducing a stable conformational and functional change in LTBP-4L, and 2) promoting deposition of tropoelastin onto the elongated LTBP-4L.
Project description:Mice deficient in Latent TGF? Binding Protein 4 (Ltbp4) display a defect in lung septation and elastogenesis. The lung septation defect is normalized by genetically decreasing TGF?2 levels. However, the elastic fiber assembly is not improved in Tgfb2(-/-) ;Ltbp4S(-/-) compared to Ltbp4S(-/-) lungs. We found that decreased levels of TGF?1 or TGF?3 did not improve lung septation indicating that the TGF? isoform elevated in Ltbp4S(-/-) lungs is TGF?2. Expression of a form of Ltbp4 that could not bind latent TGF? did not affect lung phenotype indicating that normal lung development does not require the formation of LTBP4-latent TGF? complexes. Therefore, the change in TGF?-level in the lungs is not directly related to Ltbp4 deficiency but probably is a consequence of changes in the extracellular matrix. Interestingly, combination of the Ltbp4S(-/-) mutation with a fibulin-5 null mutant in Fbln5(-/-) ;Ltbp4S(-/-) mice improves the lung septation compared to Ltbp4S(-/-) lungs. Large globular elastin aggregates characteristic for Ltbp4S(-/-) lungs do not form in Fbln5(-/-) ;Ltbp4S(-/-) lungs and EM studies showed that elastic fibers in Fbln5(-/-) ;Ltbp4S(-/-) lungs resemble those found in Fbln5(-/-) mice. These results are consistent with a role for TGF?2 in lung septation and for Ltbp4 in regulating fibulin-5 dependent elastic fiber assembly.
Project description:The latent TGF-beta binding proteins (LTBP) -1, -3, and -4 are extracellular proteins that assist in the secretion and localization of latent TGF-beta. The null mutation of LTBP-4S in mice causes defects in the differentiation of terminal air-sacs, fragmented elastin, and colon carcinomas. We investigated lung development from embryonic day 14.5 (E14.5) to day 7 after birth (P7) in order to determine when the defects in elastin organization initiate and to further examine the relation of TGF-beta signaling levels and air-sac septation in Ltbp4S-/- lungs. We found that defects in elastogenesis are visible as early as E14.5 and are maintained in the alveolar walls, in blood vessel media, and subjacent airway epithelium. The air-sac septation defect was associated with excessive TGF-beta signaling and was reversed by lowering TGF-beta2 levels. Thus, the phenotype is not directly reflective of a change in TGF-beta1, the only TGF-beta isoform known to complex with LTBP-4. Reversal of the air-sac septation defect was not associated with normalization of the elastogenesis indicating two separate functions of LTBP-4 as a regulator of elastic fiber assembly and TGF-beta levels in lungs.
Project description:Elastic fiber assembly requires deposition of elastin monomers onto microfibrils, the mechanism of which is incompletely understood. Here we show that latent TGF-β binding protein 4 (LTBP-4) potentiates formation of elastic fibers through interacting with fibulin-5, a tropoelastin-binding protein necessary for elastogenesis. Decreased expression of LTBP-4 in human dermal fibroblast cells by siRNA treatment abolished the linear deposition of fibulin-5 and tropoelastin on microfibrils. It is notable that the addition of recombinant LTBP-4 to cell culture medium promoted elastin deposition on microfibrils without changing the expression of elastic fiber components. This elastogenic property of LTBP-4 is independent of bound TGF-β because TGF-β-free recombinant LTBP-4 was as potent an elastogenic inducer as TGF-β-bound recombinant LTBP-4. Without LTBP-4, fibulin-5 and tropoelastin deposition was discontinuous and punctate in vitro and in vivo. These data suggest a unique function for LTBP-4 during elastic fibrogenesis, making it a potential therapeutic target for elastic fiber regeneration.
Project description:Elastic fibers play the principal roles in providing elasticity and integrity to various types of human organs, such as the arteries, lung, and skin. However, the molecular mechanism of elastic fiber assembly that leads to deposition and crosslinking of elastin along microfibrils remains largely unknown. We have previously shown that developing arteries and neural crest EGF-like protein (DANCE) (also designated fibulin-5) is essential for elastogenesis by studying DANCE-deficient mice. Here, we report the identification of latent transforming growth factor-beta-binding protein 2 (LTBP-2), an elastic fiber-associating protein whose function in elastogenesis is not clear, as a DANCE-binding protein. Elastogenesis assays using human skin fibroblasts reveal that fibrillar deposition of DANCE and elastin is largely dependent on fibrillin-1 microfibrils. However, downregulation of LTBP-2 induces fibrillin-1-independent fibrillar deposition of DANCE and elastin. Moreover, recombinant LTBP-2 promotes deposition of DANCE onto fibrillin-1 microfibrils. These results suggest a novel regulatory mechanism of elastic fiber assembly in which LTBP-2 regulates targeting of DANCE on suitable microfibrils to form elastic fibers.
Project description:Elastic fibers are required for the elasticity and integrity of various organs. We and others previously showed that fibulin-5 (also called developing arteries and neural crest EGF-like [DANCE] or embryonic vascular EGF-like repeat-containing protein [EVEC]) is indispensable for elastogenesis by studying fibulin-5-deficient mice, which recapitulate human aging phenotypes caused by disorganized elastic fibers (Nakamura, T., P.R. Lozano, Y. Ikeda, Y. Iwanaga, A. Hinek, S. Minamisawa, C.F. Cheng, K. Kobuke, N. Dalton, Y. Takada, et al. 2002. Nature. 415:171-175; Yanagisawa, H., E.C. Davis, B.C. Starcher, T. Ouchi, M. Yanagisawa, J.A. Richardson, and E.N. Olson. 2002. Nature. 415:168-171). However, the molecular mechanism by which fiblin-5 contributes to elastogenesis remains unknown. We report that fibulin-5 protein potently induces elastic fiber assembly and maturation by organizing tropoelastin and cross-linking enzymes onto microfibrils. Deposition of fibulin-5 on microfibrils promotes coacervation and alignment of tropoelastins on microfibrils, and also facilitates cross-linking of tropoelastin by tethering lysyl oxidase-like 1, 2, and 4 enzymes. Notably, recombinant fibulin-5 protein induced elastogenesis even in serum-free conditions, although elastogenesis in cell culture has been believed to be serum-dependent. Moreover, the amount of full-length fibulin-5 diminishes with age, while truncated fibulin-5, which cannot promote elastogenesis, increases. These data suggest that fibulin-5 could be a novel therapeutic target for elastic fiber regeneration.
Project description:The fibulin family of extracellular matrix/matricellular proteins is composed of long fibulins (fibulin-1, -2, -6) and short fibulins (fibulin-3, -4, -5, -7) and is involved in protein-protein interaction with the components of basement membrane and extracellular matrix proteins. Fibulin-1, -2, -3, -4, and -5 bind the monomeric form of elastin (tropoelastin) in vitro and fibulin-2, -3, -4, and -5 are shown to be involved in various aspects of elastic fiber development in vivo. In particular, fibulin-4 and -5 are critical molecules for elastic fiber assembly and play a non-redundant role during elastic fiber formation. Despite manifestation of systemic elastic fiber defects in all elastogenic tissues, fibulin-5 null (Fbln5(-/-)) mice have a normal lifespan. In contrast, fibulin-4 null (Fbln4(-/-)) mice die during the perinatal period due to rupture of aortic aneurysms, indicating differential functions of fibulin-4 and fibulin-5 in normal development. In this review, we will update biochemical characterization of fibulin-4 and fibulin-5 and discuss their roles in elastogenesis and outside of elastogenesis based on knowledge obtained from loss-of-function studies in mouse and in human patients with FBLN4 or FBLN5 mutations. Finally, we will evaluate therapeutic options for matrix-related diseases.
Project description:Microfibrils are exracellular matrix components necessary for elastic fiber assembly and for suspending lenses. We previously reported that latent TGF-β binding protein 2 (LTBP-2), a microfibril-associated protein, is required for forming stable microfibril bundles in ciliary zonules. However, it was not understood why Ltbp2 null mice only showed an eye-specific phenotype, whereas LTBP-2 is abundantly expressed in other tissues containing microfibrils in wild type mice. Here, we show that LTBP-4, another microfibril-associated protein, compensates for the loss of LTBP-2 in microfibril formation. Ltbp2/4S double knockout (DKO) mice showed increased lethality due to emphysema, which was much more severe than that found in Ltbp4S null mice. Elastic fibers in the lungs of Ltbp2/4S DKO mice were severely disorganized and fragmented. Cultured mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) from Ltbp2/4S DKO embryos developed reduced microfibril meshwork in serum-free conditions, whereas the microfibril formation was restored by the addition of either recombinant LTBP-2 or -4. Finally, ectopic expression of LTBP-4 in the whole body restored ciliary zonule microfibril bundles in the eyes of Ltbp2 null mice. These data suggest that LTBP-2 and -4 have critical overlapping functions in forming the robust structure of microfibrils in vitro and in vivo.
Project description:Transforming growth factor-betas (TGF-betas) are multifunctional growth factors that are secreted as inactive (latent) precursors in large protein complexes. These complexes include the latency-associated propeptide (LAP) and a latent transforming growth factor-beta binding protein (LTBP). Four isoforms of LTBPs (LTBP-1-LTBP-4) have been cloned and are believed to be structural components of connective tissue microfibrils and local regulators of TGF-beta tissue deposition and signaling. By using a gene trap strategy that selects for integrations into genes induced transiently during early mouse development, we have disrupted the mouse homolog of the human LTBP-4 gene. Mice homozygous for the disrupted allele develop severe pulmonary emphysema, cardiomyopathy, and colorectal cancer. These highly tissue-specific abnormalities are associated with profound defects in the elastic fiber structure and with a reduced deposition of TGF-beta in the extracellular space. As a consequence, epithelial cells have reduced levels of phosphorylated Smad2 proteins, overexpress c-myc, and undergo uncontrolled proliferation. This phenotype supports the predicted dual role of LTBP-4 as a structural component of the extracellular matrix and as a local regulator of TGF-beta tissue deposition and signaling.
Project description:Latent TGFβ binding protein-4 (LTBP4) is a multi-domain glycoprotein, essential for regulating the extracellular bioavailability of TGFβ and assembly of elastic fibre proteins, fibrillin-1 and tropoelastin. LTBP4 mutations are linked to autosomal recessive cutis laxa type 1C (ARCL1C), a rare congenital disease characterised by high mortality and severely disrupted connective tissues. Despite the importance of LTBP4, the structure and molecular consequences of disease mutations are unknown. Therefore, we analysed the structural and functional consequences of three ARCL1C causing point mutations which effect highly conserved cysteine residues. Our structural and biophysical data show that the LTBP4 N- and C-terminal regions are monomeric in solution and adopt extended conformations with the mutations resulting in subtle changes to their conformation. Similar to LTBP1, the N-terminal region is relatively inflexible, whereas the C-terminal region is flexible. Interaction studies show that one C-terminal mutation slightly decreases binding to fibrillin-1. We also found that the LTBP4 C-terminal region directly interacts with tropoelastin which is perturbed by both C-terminal ARCL1C mutations, whereas an N-terminal mutation increased binding to fibulin-4 but did not affect the interaction with heparan sulphate. Our results suggest that LTBP4 mutations contribute to ARCL1C by disrupting the structure and interactions of LTBP4 which are essential for elastogenesis in a range of mammalian connective tissues.