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Biochemistry. 2008 Apr 29;47(17):4851-62. doi: 10.1021/bi702455e. Epub 2008 Apr 5.

Platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule 1 (PECAM-1) and its interactions with glycosaminoglycans: 1. Molecular modeling studies.

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  • 1Western Australian Biomedical Research Institute, Australia.


Platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule 1 (PECAM-1) has many functions, including its roles in leukocyte extravasation as part of the inflammatory response and in the maintenance of vascular integrity through its contribution to endothelial cell-cell adhesion. PECAM-1 has been shown to mediate cell-cell adhesion through homophilic binding events that involve interactions between domain 1 of PECAM-1 molecules on adjacent cells. However, various heterophilic ligands of PECAM-1 have also been proposed. The possible interaction of PECAM-1 with glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) is the focus of this study. The three-dimensional structure of the extracellular immunoglobulin (Ig) domains of PECAM-1 were constructed using homology modeling and threading methods. Potential heparin/heparan sulfate-binding sites were predicted on the basis of their amino acid consensus sequences and a comparison with known structures of sulfate-binding proteins. Heparin and other GAG fragments have been docked to investigate the structural determinants of their protein-binding specificity and selectivity. The modeling has predicted two regions in PECAM-1 that appear to bind heparin oligosaccharides. A high-affinity binding site was located in Ig domains 2 and 3, and evidence for a low-affinity site in Ig domains 5 and 6 was obtained. These GAG-binding regions were distinct from regions involved in PECAM-1 homophilic interactions.

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