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J Biol Chem. 2011 Jun 3;286(22):19179-90. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M110.200790. Epub 2011 Apr 6.

Differential use of chondroitin sulfate to regulate hyaluronan binding by receptor CD44 in Inflammatory and Interleukin 4-activated Macrophages.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Life Sciences Institute, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.


CD44 is a cell surface receptor for the extracellular matrix glycosaminoglycan hyaluronan and is involved in processes ranging from leukocyte recruitment to wound healing. In the immune system, the binding of hyaluronan to CD44 is tightly regulated, and exposure of human peripheral blood monocytes to inflammatory stimuli increases CD44 expression and induces hyaluronan binding. Here we sought to understand how mouse macrophages regulate hyaluronan binding upon inflammatory and anti-inflammatory stimuli. Mouse bone marrow-derived macrophages stimulated with tumor necrosis factor α or lipopolysaccharide and interferon-γ (LPS/IFNγ) induced hyaluronan binding by up-regulating CD44 and down-regulating chondroitin sulfation on CD44. Hyaluronan binding was induced to a lesser extent in interleukin-4 (IL-4)-activated macrophages despite increased CD44 expression, and this was attributable to increased chondroitin sulfation on CD44, as treatment with β-d-xyloside to prevent chondroitin sulfate addition significantly enhanced hyaluronan binding. These changes in the chondroitin sulfation of CD44 were associated with changes in mRNA expression of two chondroitin sulfotransferases, CHST3 and CHST7, which were decreased in LPS/IFNγ-stimulated macrophages and increased in IL-4-stimulated macrophages. Thus, inflammatory and anti-inflammatory stimuli differentially regulate the chondroitin sulfation of CD44, which is a dynamic physiological regulator of hyaluronan binding by CD44 in mouse macrophages.

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