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Biochemistry. 2005 Sep 20;44(37):12355-61.

Constitutive and accelerated shedding of murine syndecan-1 is mediated by cleavage of its core protein at a specific juxtamembrane site.

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  • 1Division of Developmental and Newborn Biology, Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


Syndecan-1 is a developmentally regulated cell surface heparan sulfate proteoglycan (HSPG). It functions as a coreceptor for a variety of soluble and insoluble ligands and is implicated in several biological processes, including differentiation, cell migration, morphogenesis, and recently feeding behavior. The extracellular domain of syndecan-1 is proteolytically cleaved at a juxtamembrane site by tissue inhibitor of metalloprotease-3 (TIMP-3)-sensitive metalloproteinases in response to a variety of physiological stimulators and stress in a process known as shedding. Shedding converts syndecan-1 from a membrane-bound coreceptor into a soluble effector capable of binding the same ligands. We found that replacing syndecan-1 juxtamembrane amino acid residues A243-S-Q-S-L247 with human CD4 amino acid residues can completely block PMA-induced syndecan-1 ectodomain shedding. Furthermore, using liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS), we identified the proteolytic cleavage site of syndecan-1 as amino acids A243 and S244, generated by constitutive and PMA-induced shedding from murine NMuMG cells. Finally, we show that basal cleavage of syndecan-1 utilizes the same in vivo site as the in vitro site. Indeed, as predicted, transgenic mice expressing the syndecan-1/CD4 cDNA do not shed the syndecan-1 ectodomain in vivo. These results suggest that the same cleavage site is utilized for basal syndecan-1 ectodomain shedding both in vitro from NMuMG and CHO cells and in vivo.

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