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J Biol Chem. 2010 Jan 8;285(2):1500-7. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M109.021964. Epub 2009 Oct 26.

Revised role of glycosaminoglycans in TAT protein transduction domain-mediated cellular transduction.

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  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, School of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093-0686, USA.

Abstract

Cellular uptake of the human immunodeficiency virus TAT protein transduction domain (PTD), or cell-penetrating peptide, has previously been surmised to occur in a manner dependent on the presence of heparan sulfate proteoglycans that are expressed ubiquitously on the cell surface. These acidic polysaccharides form a large pool of negative charge on the cell surface that TAT PTD binds avidly. Additionally, sulfated glycans have been proposed to aid in the interaction of TAT PTD and other arginine-rich PTDs with the cell membrane, perhaps aiding their translocation across the membrane. Surprisingly, however, TAT PTD-mediated induction of macropinocytosis and cellular transduction occurs in the absence of heparan sulfate and sialic acid. Using labeled TAT PTD peptides and fusion proteins, in addition to TAT PTD-Cre recombination-based phenotypic assays, we show that transduction occurs efficiently in mutant Chinese hamster ovary cell lines deficient in glycosaminoglycans and sialic acids. Similar results were obtained in cells where glycans were enzymatically removed. In contrast, enzymatic removal of proteins from the cell surface completely ablated TAT PTD-mediated transduction. Our findings support the hypothesis that acidic glycans form a pool of charge that TAT PTD binds on the cell surface, but this binding is independent of the PTD-mediated transduction mechanism and the induction of macropinocytotic uptake by TAT PTD.

PMID:
19858185
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2801275
Free PMC Article

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