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.
- TNF-stimulated gene-6 (TSG-6) is a multifunctional protein secreted in response to pro-inflammatory stimuli by a wide range of cells, including neutrophils, monocytes, and endothelial cells. It has been shown to mediate anti-inflammatory and protective effects when administered in disease models, in part, by reducing neutrophil infiltration. Human TSG-6 inhibits neutrophil migration by binding CXCL8 through its Link module (Link_TSG6) and interfering with the presentation of CXCL8 on cell-surface glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), an interaction that is vital for the function of many chemokines.
- 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.