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FEBS Lett. 1999 Dec 10;463(1-2):29-34.

LDL binds to surface-expressed human T-cadherin in transfected HEK293 cells and influences homophilic adhesive interactions.

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Laboratory for Cardiovascular Research, Department of Research, Basel University Hospital, CH 4031, Basel, Switzerland.


T-cadherin (T-cad) is an unusual glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored member of the cadherin family of cell adhesion molecules. Binding of low density lipoproteins (LDLs) to T-cad can be demonstrated on Western blots of smooth muscle cell lysates, membranes and purified proteins. Using HEK293 cells transfected with human T-cad cDNA (T-cad+), we have investigated the adhesion properties of expressed mature and precursor proteins and examined the postulate that LDL represents a physiologically relevant ligand for T-cad. T-cad+ exhibits an increased Ca(2+)-dependent aggregation (vs. control) that was reduced by selective proteolytic cleavage of precursor T-cad and abolished after either proteolytic or phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C (PI-PLC) cleavage of both mature and precursor proteins, indicating that both proteins function in intercellular adhesion. T-cad+ exhibited a significantly increased specific cell surface-binding of [(125)I]-LDL that was sensitive to PI-PLC pre-treatment of cells. Ca(2+)-dependent intercellular adhesion of T-cad+ was significantly inhibited by LDL. Our results support the suggestion that LDL is a physiologically relevant ligand for T-cad.

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