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Cell. 1989 Mar 24;56(6):1063-72.

A human lymphocyte homing receptor, the hermes antigen, is related to cartilage proteoglycan core and link proteins.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Stanford University Medical Center, California 94305.


Lymphocyte interactions with high endothelial venules (HEV) during extravasation into lymphoid tissues involve an 85-95 kd class of lymphocyte surface glycoprotein(s), gp90Hermes (CD44). We report here the cloning of cDNA for gp90Hermes expressed in a mucosal HEV-binding B lymphoblastoid cell line, KCA. Northern hybridization revealed the presence of three invariant RNA bands at 1.5, 2.2, and 4.5 kb in mucosal HEV-, lymph node HEV-, or dual-binding cells. The deduced amino acid sequence predicts a mature protein with a C-terminal cytoplasmic tail, a hydrophobic transmembrane domain of 23 amino acids, and an N-terminal extracellular region of 248 amino acids. A proximal extracellular domain is the probable region of O-glycosylation and chondroitin sulfate linkage and displays at least two of the three immunodominant epitope clusters of native gp90Hermes. A distal region contains the majority of potential N-glycosylation sites and cysteines, and exhibits a striking homology to tandemly repeated domains of the cartilage link and proteoglycan core proteins. No significant similarities were found to the immunoglobulin, integrin, or cadherin gene families. Thus gp90Hermes represents a novel class of integral membrane protein involved in lymphocyte-endothelial cell interactions and lymphocyte homing.

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