Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Department of



Date of this Version



2019 by the authors


Cells 2019, 8, 1082; doi:10.3390/cells8091082


Endoglin is a 180-kDa glycoprotein receptor primarily expressed by the vascular endothelium and involved in cardiovascular disease and cancer. Heterozygous mutations in the endoglin gene (ENG) cause herediatry hemorrhagic telangiectasia type 1, a vascular disease that presents with nasal and gastrointestinal bleeding, skin and mucosa telangiectase, and arteriovenous malformations in internal organs. A circulating form of endoglin (alias soluble endoglin, sEng), proteolytically released from the membrane-bound protein, has been observed in several inflammation-related pathological conditions and appears to contribute to endothelial dysfunction and cancer development through unknown mechanisms. Membrane-bound endoglin is an auxiliary component of the TGF-B receptor complex and the extracellular region of endoglin has been shown to interact with types I and II TGF-B receptors, as well as with BMP9 and BMP10 ligands, both members of the TGF-B family. To search for novel protein interactors, we screened a microarray containing over 9000 unique human proteins using recombinat sEng as bait. We find that sEng binds with high affinity, at least, to 22 new proteins. Among these, we validated the interaction of endoglin with galectin-3, a secreted member of the lectin family with capacity to bind membrane glycoproteins, and with tripartite motif-containing protein 32 (TRIM21), an E3 ubiquitin-protein ligase. Using human endothelial cells and Chinese hamster ovary cells, we showed that endoglin co-immunoprecipitated and co-localized with galectin-3 or TRIM21. These results open new research avenues on endoglin function and regulation.