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Biochemistry. 2001 May 22;40(20):5964-74.

Polymerized liposome assemblies: bifunctional macromolecular selectin inhibitors mimicking physiological selectin ligands.

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Department of Anatomy and Program in Biomedical Sciences, University of California, San Francisco, California 94143, USA.


Monomeric sialyl Lewis(X) (sLe(x)) and sLe(x)-like oligosaccharides are minimal structures capable of supporting selectin binding in vitro. However, their weak binding interactions do not correlate with the high-affinity binding interactions witnessed in vivo. The polyvalent display of carbohydrate groups found on cell surface glycoprotein structures may contribute to the enhanced binding strength of selectin-mediated adhesion. Detailed biochemical analyses of physiological selectin ligands have revealed a complicated composition of molecules that bind to the selectins in vivo and suggest that there are other requirements for tight binding beyond simple carbohydrate multimerization. In an effort to mimic the high-affinity binding, polyvalent scaffolds that contain multicomponent displays of selectin-binding ligands have been synthesized. Here, we demonstrate that the presentation of additional anionic functional groups in the form of sulfate esters, on a polymerized liposome surface containing a multimeric array of sLe(x)-like oligosaccharides, generates a highly potent, bifunctional macromolecular assembly. This assembly inhibits L-, E-, and P-selectin binding to GlyCAM-1, a physiological ligand better than sLe(x)-like liposomes without additional anionic charge. These multivalent arrays are 4 orders of magnitude better than the monovalent carbohydrate. Liposomes displaying 3'-sulfo Lewis(X)-like oligosaccharides, on the other hand, show slight loss of binding with introduction of additional anionic functional groups for E- and P-selectin and negligible change for L-selectin. The ability to rapidly and systematically vary the composition of these assemblies is a distinguishing feature of this methodology and may be applied to the study of other systems where composite binding determinants are important for high-affinity binding.

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