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

Regulation of urokinase/urokinase receptor interaction by heparin-like glycosaminoglycans.

We show here that the interaction between the urokinase-type plasminogen activator and its receptor, which plays a critical role in cell invasion, is regulated by heparan sulfate present on the cell surface and in the extracellular matrix. Heparan sulfate oligomers showing a composition close to the dimeric repeats of heparin (glucosamine-NSO(3)(6-OSO(3))-iduronic acid(2-OSO(3))) n = 5 and n > 5, where iduronic acid may alternate with glucuronic acid, exhibit affinity for urokinase plasminogen activator and confer specificity on urokinase/urokinase receptor interaction. Cell surface clearance of heparan sulfate reduces the affinity of such interaction with a parallel decrease of specific urokinase binding in the presence of an unaltered expression of receptor. Transfection of human urokinase plasminogen activator receptor in normal Chinese hamster ovary fibroblasts and in Chinese hamster ovary cells defective for the synthesis of sulfated glycosaminoglycans results in specific urokinase/receptor interaction only in nondefective cells. Heparan sulfate/urokinase and receptor/urokinase interactions exhibit similar K(d) values. We concluded that heparan sulfate functions as an adaptor molecule that confers specificity on urokinase/receptor binding.[1]


  1. Regulation of urokinase/urokinase receptor interaction by heparin-like glycosaminoglycans. Pucci, M., Fibbi, G., Magnelli, L., Del Rosso, M. J. Biol. Chem. (2001) [Pubmed]
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