Glycoproteins of the extracellular matrix (ECM) regulate proliferation, migration, and differentiation in numerous cell lineages. ECM functions are initiated by small peptide sequences embedded in large constituents that are recognized by specific cellular receptors. In this study, we have investigated the biological effects of peptides derived from collagen type IV and tenascin-C compared to the well-known RGD peptide originally discovered in fibronectin. The influence of glycoproteins and corresponding peptides on the migration of the glioma cell lines U-251-MG and U-373-MG and the sarcoma line S-117 was studied. When the cell lines were tested in a modified Boyden chamber assay on filters coated with the ECM glycoproteins, glioma cells showed a strong migration response on tenascin-C and the basal lamina constituent collagen IV, in contrast to S-117 cells. In order to identify relevant stimulatory motifs, peptides derived from fibronectin (6NHX-GRGDSF), tenascin-C (TN-C, VSWRAPTA), and collagen type IV (MNYYSNS) were compared, either applied in solution in combination with ECM glycoprotein substrates, in solution in the presence of untreated membranes, or coated on the filters of the Boyden chambers. Using this strategy, we could identify the novel tenascin-C-derived peptide motif VSWRAPTA as a migration stimulus for glioma cells. Furthermore, while kin peptides generally blocked the effects of the respective homologous ECM proteins, unexpected effects were observed in heterologous situations. There, in several cases, addition of soluble peptides strongly boosted the response to the coated ECM proteins. We propose that peptides may synergize or antagonize each other by stimulating different signaling pathways.
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We thank S. Kindermann for his excellent technical assistance and purification of human TN-C and M. Kirchberg for elaborating the tables. We acknowledge grant support by the Mercator Research Center Ruhr (Mercur Foundation, Pr-2011-0010 to RW and AF) and the COST Action BM 1001 “Brain ECM in Health and Disease” (to AF).
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest related to the publication of this manuscript.
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