Requirement for activin A and transforming growth factor--beta 1 pro-regions in homodimer assembly

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Science  16 Mar 1990:
Vol. 247, Issue 4948, pp. 1328-1330
DOI: 10.1126/science.2315700


Many proteins are initially synthesized as part of a large precursor. The role of the pro-region in the biosynthesis of transforming growth factor--beta 1 (TGF-beta 1) and activin A, two structurally related disulfide-linked homodimers synthesized as large precursors, was studied. Vectors that expressed either the pro-region or the mature regions of these molecules were used in complementation experiments, only when the pro-region was coexpressed with the mature region did intracellular dimerization and secretion of biologically active homodimers occur. The pro-regions of activin A and TGF-beta 1, therefore, aid the folding, disulfide bond formation, and export of their respective homodimers.

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