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Lymphocyte CD44 binds the COOH-terminal heparin-binding domain of fibronectin.

Authors:
Jalkanen S, Jalkanen M
Affiliation:
Journal:
The Journal of cell biology

Abstract

The lymphocyte-high endothelial venule (HEV) cell interaction is an essential element of the immune system, as it controls lymphocyte recirculation between blood and lymphoid organs in the body. This interaction involves an 85-95-kD class of lymphocyte surface glycoprotein(s), CD44. A subset of lymphocyte CD44 molecules is modified by covalent linkage to chondroitin sulfate (Jalkanen, S., M. Jalkanen, R. Bargatze, M. Tammi, and E. C. Butcher. 1988. J. Immunol. 141:1615-1623). In this work, we show that removal of chondroitin sulfate by chondroitinase treatment of lymphocytes or incubation of HEV with chondroitin sulfate does not significantly inhibit lymphocyte binding to HEV, suggesting that chondroitin sulfate is not involved in endothelial cell recognition of lymphocytes. Affinity-purified CD44 antigen was, on the other hand, observed to bind native Type I collagen fibrils, laminin, and fibronectin, but not gelatin. Binding to fibronectin was studied more closely, and it was found to be mediated through the chondroitin sulfate-containing form of the molecule. The binding site on fibronectin was the COOH-terminal heparin binding domain, because (a) the COOH-terminal heparin-binding fragment of fibronectin-bound isolated CD44 antigen; (b) chondroitin sulfate inhibited this binding; and (c) finally, the ectodomain of another cell surface proteoglycan, syndecan, which is known to bind the COOH-terminal heparin binding domain of fibronectin (Saunders, S., and M. Bernfield. 1988. J. Cell Biol. 106: 423-430), inhibited binding of CD44 both to intact fibronectin and to its heparin binding domain. Moreover, inhibition studies showed that binding of a lymphoblastoid cell line, KCA, to heparin binding peptides from COOH-terminal heparin binding fragment of fibronectin was mediated via CD44. These findings suggest that recirculating lymphocytes use the CD44 class of molecules not only for binding to HEV at the site of lymphocyte entry to lymphoid organs as reported earlier but also within the lymphatic tissue where CD44, especially the subset modified by chondroitin sulfate, is used for interaction with extracellular matrix molecules such as fibronectin.

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