Immunogold labeling was used to localize the core protein of small dermatan sulfate proteoglycan (DS-PG) on the surface of cultured human fibroblasts. At 4 degrees C, DS-PG core protein was uniformly distributed over the cell surface. At 37 degrees C, gold particles either became rearranged in form of clusters or remained associated with fibrils. Double-label immunocytochemistry indicated the co-distribution of DS-PG core protein and fibronectin in the fibrils. In an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, binding of DS-PG from fibroblast secretions and of its core protein to fibronectin occurred at pH 7.4 and at physiological ionic strength. Larger amounts of core protein than of intact proteoglycan could be bound. Fibronectin peptides containing either the heparin-binding domain near the COOH-terminal end or the heparin-binding NH2 terminus were the only fragments interacting with DS-PG and core protein. Competition and replacement experiments with heparin and dermatan sulfate suggested the existence of adjacent binding sites for heparin and DS-PG core protein. It is hypothesized that heparan sulfate proteoglycans and DS-PG may competitively interact with fibronectin.

This content is only available as a PDF.