The Journal of biological chemistry

Type VI collagen. Studies on its localization, structure, and biosynthetic form with monoclonal antibodies.

PMID 6368554


Monoclonal antibodies were prepared by immunization with whole tissue and were selected for their reactivity with extracellular matrices in tissue immunofluorescence. Two such antibodies were used to isolate the corresponding antigen from pepsin extracts of human placental tissue by immunochromatography. In each case, polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis in the presence of sodium dodecyl sulfate showed that the isolated material was composed of four polypeptides of Mr between 57,000 and 85,000 that were disulfide-bonded into a high molecular weight aggregate. Amino acid analyses showed that the isolated material was partly collagenous. The material was shown to be antigenically related to previously isolated peptic fragments of type VI collagen and it shared their unique structure as revealed by electron microscopy. Based on these findings, it was concluded that the isolated material was a form of type VI collagen. In immunofluorescence, the monoclonal antibodies localized type VI collagen throughout the connective tissue and in the extracellular matrix of cultured fibroblasts. Polypeptides presumably comprising the intact form of this collagen were isolated from cultures of metabolically radiolabeled fibroblast cell cultures using the two monoclonal antibodies. The isolated material consisted of two polypeptides of Mr 240,000 and 140,000 that were extensively disulfide cross-linked. Four additional monoclonal antibodies bound the same radioactive polypeptides from fibroblast cultures, but only one of them reacted with the fragments isolated from pepsin-digested placenta. Since all six antibodies were originally selected based on tissue immunofluorescence, and therefore react with the tissue form of the protein, the tissue form appears to be more similar to the polypeptides detected in fibroblast cultures than to the pepsin-resistant fragments. Since these monoclonal antibodies apparently recognize different parts of the molecule, they will be useful for further study of the structure and function of the intact form of type VI collagen.