Heparin modulates the secretion of a major excreted protein-like molecule by vascular smooth muscle cells

David L. Cochran, John J. Castellot, John M. Robinson, Morris J. Karnovsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Previous work from our laboratory has shown that heparin specifically induces the release of a pair of proteins of approximately 35 000 and 37 000 Da into the culture medium of vascular smooth muscle cells (SMC). In this report, we demonstrate that the previously identified 37 000-Da smooth muscle protein is composed of two protein species with very similar molecular weights based on migration pattern in SDS-polyacrylamide gels. The larger molecular weight species in this doublet has a similar molecular weight and shares antigenic determinants with major excreted protein (MEP), a lysosomal proteinase previously shown to be secreted by normal and transformed fibroblasts and epidermal cells. Antisera to MEP precipitated the higher molecular weight band from the doublet; preimmune serum was not reactive with the smooth muscle protein. Exposure of smooth muscle cells to heparin resulted in decreased amounts of immunoprecipitable protein released into the medium. Thus, it now appears that three proteins in the 35 000-38 000 molecular weight range are modulated by heparin, and that the largest of the heparin-modulated vascular SMC proteins has a similar molecular weight and is immunologically related to MEP. The release of MEP-like protein from SMC is decreased by heparin, while the remaining two heparin-modulated proteins are increased in the presence of heparin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-295
Number of pages7
JournalBBA - General Subjects
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 17 1988
Externally publishedYes


  • Heparin
  • Protein secretion
  • Smooth muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry


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