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Vertebrate extracellular matrix protein hemicentin-1 interacts physically and genetically with basement membrane protein nidogen-2
Jin-Li Zhang, Stefania Richetti, Thomas Ramezani, Daniela Welcker, Steffen Lütke, Hans-Martin Pogoda, Julia Hatzold, Frank Zaucke, Douglas R. Keene, Wilhelm Bloch, Gerhard Sengle, Matthias Hammerschmidt
Hemicentin; Nidogen; Laminin; Basement membrane; Mouse; Zebrafish
Hemicentins are large proteins of the extracellular matrix that belong to the fibulin family and play pivotal roles during development and homeostasis of a variety of invertebrate and vertebrate tissues. However, bona fide interaction partners of hemicentins have not been described as yet. Here, applying surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy and co-immunoprecipitation, we identify the basement membrane protein nidogen-2 (NID2) as a binding partner of mouse and zebrafish hemicentin-1 (HMCN1), in line with the formerly described essential role of mouse HMCN1 in basement membrane integrity. We show that HMCN1 binds to the same protein domain of NID2 (G2) as formerly shown for laminins, but with an approximately ten-fold lower affinity and in a competitive manner. Furthermore, immunofluorescence and immunogold labelling revealed that HMCN1/Hmcn1 is localized close to basement membranes and in partial overlap with NID2/Nid2a in different tissues of mouse and zebrafish. Genetic knockout and antisense-mediated knockdown studies in zebrafish further show that loss of Nid2a leads to similar defects in fin fold morphogenesis as the loss of Laminin-α5 (Lama5) or Hmcn1. Finally, combined partial loss-of-function studies indicated that nid2a genetically interacts with both hmcn1 and lama5. Together, these findings suggest that despite their mutually exclusive physical binding, hemicentins, nidogens, and laminins tightly cooperate and support each other during formation, maintenance, and function of basement membranes to confer tissue linkage.