Glycobiology and Extracellular Matrices
- Inter-α-inhibitor is a proteoglycan essential for mammalian reproduction and also plays a less well-characterized role in inflammation. It comprises two homologous “heavy chains” (HC1 and HC2) covalently attached to chondroitin sulfate on the bikunin core protein. Before ovulation, HCs are transferred onto the polysaccharide hyaluronan (HA) to form covalent HC·HA complexes, thereby stabilizing an extracellular matrix around the oocyte required for fertilization. Additionally, such complexes form during inflammatory processes and mediate leukocyte adhesion in the synovial fluids of arthritis patients and protect against sepsis.
- The lymphatic vessel endothelial receptor LYVE-1 is implicated in the uptake of hyaluronan (HA) and trafficking of leukocytes to draining lymph nodes. Yet LYVE-1 has only weak affinity for hyaluronan and depends on receptor clustering and higher order ligand organization for durable binding in lymphatic endothelium. An unusual feature of LYVE-1 not found in other HA receptors is the potential to form disulfide-linked homodimers. However, their influence on function has not been investigated. Here we show LYVE-1 homodimers are the predominant configuration in lymphatic endothelium in vitro and in vivo, and formation solely requires the unpaired cysteine residue Cys-201 within the membrane-proximal domain, yielding a 15-fold higher HA binding affinity and an ∼67-fold slower off-rate than the monomer.
- Background: TSG-6 (TNF-stimulated gene-6)-dependent transfer of heavy chains from inter-α-inhibitor onto hyaluronan is critical for ovulation.Results: A calcium ion and chelating glutamate within TSG-6 mediate formation of the covalent heavy chain-TSG-6 intermediate.Conclusion: TSG-6 transferase activity rather than hyaluronan binding drives cumulus expansion.Significance: The role of metal ions in hyaluronan-heavy chain formation has been determined.