Branka Brukner Dabovic, PhD

Assistant Professor (Research); Department of Cell Biology

Cell Biology







Contact Information

550 First Avenue
Medical Science Building
Floor 6, Room 650
New York, NY 10016

Tel: 212-263-5327

Function of Latent TGF-β Binding Proteins

TGF-β is a potent cytokine that regulates development, tissue homeostasis and tumorigenesis. TGF-β is secreted as a large latent complex (LLC) consisting of TGF-β, it’s propeptide and a latent TGF-β binding protein (LTBP). TGF-β must be released from the LLC to bind to its receptor; a process known as TGF-β activation. TGF-β activation is a critical step in regulating TGF-β tissue levels. LTBPs comprise a family of four (LTBP-1, -2 -3 and -4) structurally related extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins. LTBPs may modulate TGFβ activity by facilitating its secretion, specifying its location in the ECM and by directly participating in latent TGFβ activation. The analysis of Ltbp3-/- mice revealed an important function for Ltbp-3 in regulating TGF-β levels in bone and lungs, as there was a decrease in TGF-β signaling in Ltbp3-/- tissues. The absence of Ltbp-4 in Ltbp4S-/- mice caused an increase in TGF-β signaling in the lungs and defects in elastic fiber assembly. My main interest is in revealing the mechanism underlying LTBP function in TGF-β activation, including interactions of LTBPs with other ECM proteins that might modulate LTBP deposition in the ECM and/or TGF-β activation.