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J Biol Chem. 1985 Aug 5;260(16):9117-22.

Heparin-binding properties of human serum spreading factor.


Human serum spreading factor (SF) is a blood glycoprotein that promotes attachment and spreading and influences growth, migration, and differentiation of a variety of animal cells in culture. SF purified from human plasma or serum by chromatographic methods reported previously (Barnes, D. W., and Silnutzer, J. (1983) J. Biol. Chem. 258, 12548-12552) does not bind to heparin-Sepharose under conditions of physiological ionic strength and pH. In a further examination of the heparin-binding properties of human serum SF, we found that exposure of purified SF to 8 M urea altered several properties of the protein, including heparin affinity, and these alterations remained after removal of the urea from SF solutions. Urea-treated SF bound to heparin under physiological conditions, and salt concentrations of 0.4 M or higher were required for elution of urea-treated SF from heparin-Sepharose at pH 7.0. The alteration of heparin-binding properties of SF also was observed upon exposure of the protein to heat or acid. Treatment of SF with urea, heat, or acid resulted additionally in greatly decreased cell spreading-promoting activity of the molecule. The decreased biological activity was associated with a reduced ability of the treated SF to bind to the cell culture substratum, a prerequisite for the attachment-promoting activity of the molecule. Experiments examining the heparin-binding properties of native SF in unfractionated human plasma indicated that the major portion of SF in blood did not bind to heparin under conditions of physiological ionic strength and pH.

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