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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Characterization of [3H]-heparin binding in human vascular smooth muscle cells and its relationship to the inhibition of DNA synthesis.

1. The glycosaminoglycan heparin inhibits vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) proliferation and migration, but the mechanism of its antiproliferative action remains unclear. Heparin has been reported to bind to high affinity cell surface sites on animal VSMC before undergoing receptor mediated endocytosis resulting in signal transduction into the cytoplasm and modulation of genes involved in proliferation. In this study, we have characterized the binding of [3H]-heparin to human saphenous vein-derived VSMC and examined whether there is any relationship between the affinity of [3H]-heparin binding and the inhibitory effect of heparin and its structural analogues on DNA synthesis. 2. At 4 degrees C [3H]-heparin binding to human VSMC occurred in a specific, time and concentration-dependent manner and was not influenced by the removal of calcium ions. Binding of the ligand appeared to occur to the cell surface and was both saturable and reversible. Kinetic and steady state data indicated a single class of binding sites. 3. The pharmacology of [3H]-heparin binding was examined in displacement studies using unlabelled heparin and structural analogues. A comparison of the rank potencies of heparin, heparan sulphate fraction II, low molecular weight heparin and trehalose octasulphate showed that there was a marked discrepancy between their estimated affinities in the binding assays and their effect on DNA synthesis. 4. In summary, we have characterized the heparin binding site on human saphenous vein-derived VSMC. Our findings suggest that the action of heparin and its analogues on DNA synthesis does not simply reflect an interaction with the cell-associated heparin binding site defined in these studies, but may also be determined by the internalization and metabolism of the glycosaminoglycan(s).[1]


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