The transforming growth factor-beta receptor type III is a membrane proteoglycan. Domain structure of the receptor

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Biochemistry

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Document Type



Affinity Labels; Animals; Cell Membrane; Chondroitin Lyases; Chromatography, Ion Exchange; Glycoside Hydrolases; Polysaccharide-Lyases; Rats; Receptors, Cell Surface; Receptors, Transforming Growth Factor beta; Trypsin; Tunicamycin


Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


The transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) receptor type III is a low abundance cell surface component that binds TGF-beta 1 and TGF-beta 2 with high affinity and specificity, and is present in many mammalian and avian cell types. Type III TGF-beta receptors affinity-labeled with 125I-TGF-beta migrate in sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide electrophoresis gels as diffuse species of 250-350 kDa. Here we show that type III receptors deglycosylated by the action of trifluoromethanesulfonic acid yield affinity-labeled receptor cores of 110-130 kDa. This marked decrease in molecular weight is also achieved by combined treatment of type III receptors with heparitinase and chondroitinase ABC. Digestion of receptor-linked glycosaminoglycans by treatment of intact cell monolayers with heparitinase and chondroitinase does not prevent TGF-beta binding to the type III receptor core polypeptide and does not release the receptor polypeptide from the membrane. The type III TGF-beta receptor binds tightly to DEAE-Sephacel and coelutes with cellular proteoglycans at a characteristically high salt concentration. Thus, the type III TGF-beta receptor has the properties of a membrane proteoglycan that carries heparan and chondroitin sulfate glycosaminoglycan chains. The binding site for TGF-beta appears to reside in the 100-120-kDa core polypeptide of this receptor. The type III receptor is highly sensitive to cleavage by trypsin. Trypsin action releases the glycosaminoglycan-containing domain of the receptor leaving a 60-kDa membrane-associated domain that contains the cross-linked ligand. A model for the domain structure of the TGF-beta receptor type III is proposed based on these results.


J Biol Chem. 1988 Nov 15;263(32):16984-91.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

The Journal of biological chemistry

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