Proteins found associated with microfibrils include vitronectin (Dahlback et al. 1990), latent transforming growth factor beta-binding proteins (Kielty et al. 2002, Munger & Sheppard 2011), emilin (Bressan et al. 1993, Mongiat et al. 2000), members of the microfibrillar-associated proteins (MFAPs, Gibson et al.1996), and fibulins (Roark et al. 1995, Yanagisawa et al. 2002). The significance of these interactions is not well understood but may help mediate elastin-fibrillin interactions during elastic fibre assembly.
Proteoglycans such as versican (Isogai et al. 2002), biglycan, and decorin (Reinboth et al. 2002) can interact with the microfibrils. They confer specific properties including hydration, impact absorption, molecular sieving, regulation of cellular activities, mediation of growth factor association, and release and transport within the extracellular matrix (Buczek-Thomas et al. 2002). In addition, glycosaminoglycans have been shown to interact with tropoelastin through its lysine side chains (Wu et al. 1999) regulating tropoelastin assembly (Tu and Weiss, 2008).