Implications for collagen binding from the crystallographic structure of fibronectin 6FnI1-2FnII7FnI

M. Erat, U. Schwarz-Linek, Andy Pickford, R. Farndale, I. Campbell, Ioannis Vakonakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Collagen and fibronectin (FN) are two abundant and essential components of the vertebrate extracellular matrix; they interact directly with cellular receptors and affect cell adhesion and migration. Past studies identified a FN fragment comprising six modules, 6FnI1-2FnII7-9FnI, and termed the gelatin binding domain (GBD) as responsible for collagen interaction. Recently, we showed that GBD binds tightly to a specific site within type I collagen and determined the structure of domains 8-9FnI in complex with a peptide from that site. Here, we present the crystallographic structure of domains 6FnI1-2FnII7FnI, which form a compact, globular unit through interdomain interactions. Analysis of NMR titrations with single-stranded collagen peptides reveals a dominant collagen interaction surface on domains 2FnII and 7FnI; a similar surface appears involved in interactions with triple-helical peptides. Models of the complete GBD, based on the new structure and the 8-9FnI-collagen complex show a continuous putative collagen binding surface. We explore the implications of this model using long collagen peptides and discuss our findings in the context of FN interactions with collagen fibrils.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33764-33770
Number of pages7
JournalThe Journal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number44
Publication statusPublished - 29 Oct 2010


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