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Thrombospondins (TSPs) represent extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins belonging to the TSP family that comprises five members. All TSPs have a complex multidomain structure that permits the interaction with various partners including other ECM proteins, cytokines, receptors, growth factors, etc. Among TSPs, TSP1, TSP2, and TSP4 are the most studied and functionally tested. TSP1 possesses anti-angiogenic activity and is able to activate transforming growth factor (TGF)-β, a potent profibrotic and anti-inflammatory factor. Both TSP2 and TSP4 are implicated in the control of ECM composition in hypertrophic hearts. TSP1, TSP2, and TSP4 also influence cardiac remodeling by affecting collagen production, activity of matrix metalloproteinases and TGF-β signaling, myofibroblast differentiation, cardiomyocyte apoptosis, and stretch-mediated enhancement of myocardial contraction. The development and evaluation of TSP-deficient animal models provided an option to assess the contribution of TSPs to cardiovascular pathology such as (myocardial infarction) MI, cardiac hypertrophy, heart failure, atherosclerosis, and aortic valve stenosis. Targeting of TSPs has a significant therapeutic value for treatment of cardiovascular disease. The activation of cardiac TSP signaling in stress and pressure overload may be therefore beneficial.


Dimitry A Chistiakov, Alexandra A Melnichenko, Veronika A Myasoedova, Andrey V Grechko, Alexander N Orekhov. Thrombospondins: A Role in Cardiovascular Disease. International journal of molecular sciences. 2017 Jul 17;18(7)

PMID: 28714932

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