Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Troponin I is present in human cartilage and inhibits angiogenesis.

PMID 10077564


Cartilage is an avascular and relatively tumor-resistant tissue. Work from a number of laboratories, including our own, has demonstrated that cartilage is an enriched source of endogenous inhibitors of angiogenesis. In the course of a study designed to identify novel cartilage-derived inhibitors of new capillary growth, we have purified an inhibitory protein that was identified by peptide microsequencing and protein database analysis as troponin I (TnI). TnI is a subunit of the troponin complex (troponin-C and troponin-T being the other two), which, along with tropomyosin, is responsible for the calcium-dependent regulation of striated muscle contraction; independently, TnI is capable of inhibiting actomyosin ATPase. Because troponin has never previously been reported to be present in cartilage, we have cloned and expressed the cDNA of human cartilage TnI, purified this protein to apparent homogeneity, and demonstrated that it is a potent and specific inhibitor of angiogenesis in vivo and in vitro, as well as of tumor metastasis in vivo.