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Exp Cell Res. 2000 May 1;256(2):445-53.

Adhesion of lymphoid cells to CD44-specific substrata: the consequences of attachment depend on the ligand.

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Department of Biochemistry, Rush University at Rush-St. Luke's Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois 60612, USA.


Interactions between cell-surface adhesion receptors and immobilized specific substrata can exert profound effects on cell morphology. Using phase-contrast microscopy, we show that CD44-expressing mouse lymphoid cells display a spread morphology when adhering to CD44-specific monoclonal antibody (mAb) immobilized on plastic. This spread morphology is different from that of these same cells when adhering to immobilized hyaluronan, the natural ligand of CD44. Morphometric measurements, in combination with intracellular actin staining and fluorescence microscopy, revealed that the adhesion of lymphoid cells to hyaluronan required essentially no cytoskeletal reorganization and resulted in no fundamental change in morphology. On the other hand, cells adhering to immobilized CD44-specific mAb rearranged their actin structure and established multiple membrane contact sites (spread). Cell spreading on antibody, but not attachment to hyaluronan, was inhibited by cytoskeleton-disrupting agents. Transfection of CD44-negative lymphoid cells with full-length and tailless CD44 enabled these cells to bind to both immobilized hyaluronan and mAb. However, the transfectant lacking the cytoplasmic tail of CD44 spread only transiently on the antibody-coated surface. Our results suggest that CD44 may mediate lymphocyte attachment to its carbohydrate ligand hyaluronan by mechanisms broadly similar to those used by selectins. When immobilized CD44-specific antibody is the ligand, however, CD44 may regulate the activity of the cytoskeleton by mechanisms broadly similar to those used by integrins. In the latter case, the cytoplasmic domain of CD44 contributes to cell spreading.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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