Localization and Chemical Synthesis of Fibronectin Peptides with Melanoma Adhesion and Heparin Binding Activities

James B. McCarthy, Mary K. Chelberg, Daniel J. Mickelson, Leo T. Furcht

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137 Scopus citations


Tumor cell adhesion to the extracellular matrix is an important consideration in tumor metastasis. Recent results show that multiple adhesion-promoting domains for melanoma cells can be purified from proteolytic digests of fibronectin [McCarthy, J. B., Hagen, S. T., & Furcht, L. T. (1986) J. Cell Biol. 102, 179–188]. Monoclonal antibodies were generated against a tryptic/catheptic 33K heparin binding fragment of fibronectin derived from the carboxyl terminal of the A chain. This region contains a tumor cell adhesion-promoting domain(s). The amino-terminal sequence was determined for this fragment, as well as a tryptic 3 IK fragment which is located to the carboxyl-terminal side of the 33K heparin binding fragment in A chains of fibronectin. The partial sequence data demonstrate that arginyl-glycyl-aspartyl-serine (RGDS) or the related arginyl-glutamyl-aspartyl-valine (REDV) is not present in the 33K heparin binding fragment, confirming earlier results which demonstrated that cells adhere to this fragment by an RGDS-independent mechanism. Two monoclonal antibodies, termed AHB-1 and AHB-2, recognized epitopes common to heparin binding fragments derived from the carboxyl terminus of both the A and B chains of fibronectin. Monoclonal antibody AHB-2 inhibited melanoma adhesion to the 33K heparin binding fragment of fibronectin in a concentration-dependent manner, whereas monoclonal antibody AHB-1 had no effect on adhesion to this fragment. Neither monoclonal antibody inhibited adhesion to intact fibronectin. However, monoclonal AHB-2 potentiated the inhibitory effect of suboptimal levels of exogenous RGDS on cell adhesion to intact fibronectin. AHB-2 recognized an epitope common to both the A- and B-chain carboxyl-terminal heparin binding region of fibronectin. Thus, synthetic peptides of this region were prepared in order to further localize the cell adhesion-promoting activity of this portion of the molecule. Two peptides were identified which promoted melanoma cell adhesion in a concentration-dependent manner. These peptides also bound [3H]heparin in a solid phase binding assay. The studies support the concept that melanoma adhesion to intact fibronectin occurs as a result of multiple distinct adhesion-promoting domains, which interact with multiple, functionally discrete receptors on the surface of melanoma cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1380-1388
Number of pages9
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 1 1988


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