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Biochemistry. 1991 Feb 12;30(6):1682-91.

Role of cell-surface lysines in plasminogen binding to cells: identification of alpha-enolase as a candidate plasminogen receptor.

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Committee on Vascular Biology, Research Institute of Scripps Clinic, La Jolla, California 92037.


Plasminogen binding to cell surfaces results in enhanced plasminogen activation, localization of the proteolytic activity of plasmin on cell surfaces, and protection of plasmin from alpha 2-antiplasmin. We sought to characterize candidate plasminogen binding sites on nucleated cells, using the U937 monocytoid cell as a model, specifically focusing on the role of cell-surface proteins with appropriately placed lysine residues as candidate plasminogen receptors. Lysine derivatives with free alpha-carboxyl groups and peptides with carboxy-terminal lysyl residues were effective inhibitors of plasminogen binding to the cells. One of the peptides, representing the carboxy-terminal 19 amino acids of alpha 2-antiplasmin, was approximately 5-fold more effective than others with carboxy-terminal lysines. Thus, in addition to a carboxy-terminal lysyl residue, other structural features of the cell-surface proteins may influence their affinity for plasminogen. Affinity chromatography has been used to isolate candidate plasminogen receptors from U937 cells. A major protein of Mr 54,000 was recovered and identified as alpha-enolase by immunochemical and functional criteria. alpha-Enolase was present on the cell surface and was capable of binding plasminogen in ligand blotting analyses. Plasminogen binding activity of a molecular weight similar to alpha-enolase also was present in a variety of other cell types. Carboxypeptidase B treatment of alpha-enolase abolished its ability to bind plasminogen, consistent with the presence of a C-terminal lysyl residue. Thus, cell-surface proteins with carboxy-terminal lysyl residues appear to function as plasminogen binding sites, and alpha-enolase has been identified as a prominent representative of this class of receptors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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