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

The macrophage cell surface glycoprotein F4/80 is a highly glycosylated proteoglycan.

Molecules whose expression is limited to particular leukocyte populations are of interest since they may perform unique functions for these cells. We therefore examined the biochemical nature of the F4/80 molecule, which is expressed solely on macrophage and dendritic cell subpopulations. Our study clearly indicates that post-translational modifications, which can influence both a protein's structural and functional features, constitute a major component of the 160-kDa cell-surface F4/80 molecule. The F4/80 molecule is synthesized as a single polypeptide chain which acquires numerous intramolecular disulfide bonds and requires an extended time period (T1/2 = 60 min) for transport to an endoglycosidase H-resistant form. The F4/80 molecule contains extensive N-linked glycosylation which contributes approximately 40 kDa to the mature molecule. The N-linked carbohydrates are of the branched, complex type, containing repeating N-acetylglycosamine or N-acetyllactosamine units which mediate the reactivity of the F4/80 molecule with Datura stramonium lectin. O-linked glycosylation is also present and contributes approximately 10 kDa to the F4/80 molecule. Furthermore, the sialic acid modifications of the F4/80 molecule are primarily through alpha 2-6 linkages to galactose. Finally, we demonstrate that the F4/80 molecule is a proteoglycan modified by chondroitin sulfate glycosaminoglycans. In addition to clarifying the nature of the F4/80 molecule biochemically, these post-translational modifications have specific implications for molecular recognition processes. We conclude that the modifications of the F4/80 molecule may mediate cell-cell recognition, cell adhesion, or ligand binding independently of the F4/80 molecule protein core.[1]


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