Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The human extracellular matrix glycoprotein fibrillin-1 is the primary component of the 10- to 12-nm-diameter microfibrils, which perform key structural and regulatory roles in connective tissues. Relatively little is known about the molecular mechanisms of fibrillin assembly into microfibrils. Studies using recombinant fibrillin fragments indicate that an interaction between the N- and C-terminal regions drives head-to-tail assembly. Here, we present the structure of a fibrillin N-terminal fragment comprising the fibrillin unique N-terminal (FUN) and the first three epidermal growth factor (EGF)-like domains (FUN-EGF3). Two rod-like domain pairs are separated by a short, flexible linker between the EGF1 and EGF2 domains. We also show that the binding site for the C-terminal region spans multiple domains and overlaps with a heparin interaction site. These data suggest that heparan sulfate may sequester fibrillin at the cell surface via FUN-EGF3 prior to aggregation of the C terminus, thereby regulating microfibril assembly.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1743 - 1756


Amino Acid Sequence, Conserved Sequence, Fibrillin-1, Fibrillins, Heparitin Sulfate, Humans, Hydrogen Bonding, Microfibrils, Microfilament Proteins, Models, Molecular, Molecular Sequence Data, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Biomolecular, Protein Binding, Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs, Protein Multimerization, Protein Structure, Secondary