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J Biol Chem. 1999 Aug 20;274(34):24417-24.

The role of syndecan cytoplasmic domain in basic fibroblast growth factor-dependent signal transduction.

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  • 1Angiogenesis Research Center, Cardiovascular Division, Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA.


To determine the role played by syndecan-4 cytoplasmic domain in the mediation of basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) signaling, immortalized human cells (ECV) were used to generate cell lines expressing constructs encoding full-length sequences for syndecan-4 (S4), syndecan-1 (S1), glypican-1 (G1), or chimeric proteins consisting of the ectoplasmic domain of glypican-1 linked to the transmembrane/cytoplasmic domain of syndecan-4 (G1-S4c) and the ectoplasmic domain of syndecan-4 linked to the glypican-1 glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor sequence (S4-GPI). Vector-transduced cells (VC) were used as controls. Expression of all these proteoglycans (except for the vector control) significantly increased cell-associated heparan sulfate mass and the number of low affinity bFGF-binding sites. However, in low serum medium, the addition of bFGF stimulated growth and migration of cells expressing S4 and G1-S4c constructs but not G1, S1, S4-GPI, or VC cells. Similar results were obtained using Matrigel growth assays. Mutations of heparan sulfate attachment sites on S4 construct abolished syndecan-4-dependent augmentation of bFGF responses. We conclude that cytoplasmic tail of syndecan-4 plays an important role in bFGF-mediated signal transduction.

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