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Science. 1998 Oct 30;282(5390):941-3.

TNF-alpha induction of CD44-mediated leukocyte adhesion by sulfation.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of British Columbia, 300-6174 University Boulevard, Vancouver, B.C. V6T 1Z3, Canada.


Regulation of cell adhesion is important for immune system function. CD44 is a tightly regulated cell adhesion molecule present on leukocytes and implicated in their attachment to endothelium during an inflammatory immune response. The proinflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor-alpha, but not interferon-gamma, was found to convert CD44 from its inactive, nonbinding form to its active form by inducing the sulfation of CD44. This posttranslational modification was required for CD44-mediated binding to the extracellular matrix component hyaluronan and to vascular endothelial cells. Sulfation is thus a potential means of regulating CD44-mediated leukocyte adhesion at inflammatory sites.

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