Extracellular citrullination inhibits the function of matrix associated TGF-β

Kalle H. Sipilä, Vipin Ranga, Pekka Rappu, Annamari Torittu, Laura Pirilä, Jarmo Käpylä, Mark S Johnson, Hannu Larjava, Jyrki Heino

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In inflammatory arthritis peptidyl arginine deiminase (PAD) enzymes can citrullinate arginine residues in extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins, such as collagens and fibronectin. This may lead to the generation of anti-citrullinated protein antibodies, important diagnostic markers in rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, the citrullination may directly affect protein function. Based on structural analysis, we found that most ECM-associated growth factors (GFs) have arginine residues in their receptor recognition sites. Thus, they are potential functional targets of extracellular citrullination. To examine this further, we focused on the citrullination of transforming growth factor-βs (TGF-β), well-known ECM-associated GFs. PAD-treatment of CHO-LTBP1 cell derived matrix, rich with TGF-β, decreased the level of TGF-β activity as detected by HaCaT and MLEC-PAI-1/Lu reporter cells. Additional experiments indicated that PAD-treatment inhibits the integrin-mediated TGF-β activation since PAD-treatment decreased the binding of integrin αVβ6 ectodomain as well as integrin-mediated spreading of MG-63 and HaCaT cells to β1-latency associated peptide (TGF-β1 LAP). The citrullination of the RGD site, an important integrin recognition motif, was confirmed by mass spectrometry. Furthermore, the citrullination of active TGF-β1 inhibited its binding to recombinant TGF-β receptor II, and prevented its ability to activate TGF-β signaling. Thus, extracellular PAD activity can affect the function of ECM-associated growth factors by different mechanisms. Importantly, the citrullination of both latent and active TGF-β has the potency to regulate the inflammatory process.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)77–89
JournalMatrix Biology
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Integrin

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