Implications for collagen binding from the crystallographic structure of fibronectin 6FnI1-2FnII7FnI.
Erat MC., Schwarz-Linek U., Pickford AR., Farndale RW., Campbell ID., Vakonakis I.
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, (6)FnI(1-2)FnII(7-9)FnI, and termed the gelatin binding domain (GBD) as responsible for collagen interaction. Recently, we showed that the GBD binds tightly to a specific site within type I collagen and determined the structure of domains (8-9)FnI in complex with a peptide from that site. Here, we present the crystallographic structure of domains (6)FnI(1-2)FnII(7)FnI, 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 (2)FnII and (7)FnI; a similar surface appears involved in interactions with triple-helical peptides. Models of the complete GBD, based on the new structure and the (8-9)FnI·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.