Mutations in fibrillin-1 (FBN1) result in Marfan syndrome, demonstrating a critical requirement for microfibrils in vessel structure and function. However, the identity and function of many microfibril-associated molecules essential for vascular development and function have yet to be characterized. In our morpholino-based screen for members of the secretome required for vascular development, we identified a key player in microfibril formation in zebrafish embryogenesis. Microfibril-associated glycoprotein-1 (MAGP1) is a conserved protein found in mammalian and zebrafish microfibrils. Expression of magp1 mRNA is detected in micro-fibril-producing cells. Analysis of a functional Magp1-mRFP fusion protein reveals localization along the midline and in the vasculature during embryogenesis. Underexpression and overexpression analyses demonstrate that specific Magp1 protein levels are critical for vascular development. Integrin function is compromised in magp1 morphant embryos, suggesting that reduced integrin-matrix interaction is the main mechanism for the vascular defects in magp1 morphants. We further show that Magp1 and fibrillin-1 interact in vivo. This study implicates MAGP1 as a key player in microfibril formation and integrity during development. The essential role for MAGP1 in vascular morphogenesis and function also supports a wide range of clinical applications, including therapeutic targets in vascular disease and cardiovascular tissue engineering.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology