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J Biol Chem. 1988 Nov 15;263(32):16661-8.

Affinity and distribution of surface and intracellular hyaluronic acid receptors in isolated rat liver endothelial cells.

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Department of Human Biological Chemistry and Genetics, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston 77550.


125I-Hyaluronic acid (HA) uniquely modified only at the reducing end (Raja, R.H., LeBoeuf, R. D., Stone, G.W., and Weigel, P.H. (1984) Anal. Biochem. 139, 168-177) binds specifically to rat liver endothelial cells in suspension or in culture. About 67-85% of the HA binding sites in isolated cells in suspension and 50% in cultured cells were intracellular, since they were exposed after permeabilizing cells with digitonin. Specific 125I-HA binding at 4 degrees C varied from 60 to 80% for intact cells and from 70 to 90% for permeabilized cells. Freshly isolated permeabilized cells bound about 500,000 HA molecules/cell at saturation. Within 5 h of culture, however, total HA binding decreased to 250,000 molecules/cells and then remained constant for at least 36 h. Surface HA receptor activity was essentially the same on cultured cells or cells in suspension (approximately 10(5)/cell). Cultured cells had 1.8 x 10(5) fewer intracellular receptors/cell. The affinities of surface and intracellular receptors of cells in culture and in suspension were essentially the same. The average Kd, determined by equilibrium binding studies, was 5.8 +/- 2.8 x 10(-8) M (n = 12). Dissociation of bound 125I-HA from permeable cultured cells was rapid (t1/2 = 30.9 min;kappa off = 3.7 x 10(-4) s-1). A variety of carbohydrates had essentially identical effects on 125I-HA binding to surface or total cellular receptors in cells in culture or in suspension. Chondroitin sulfate and heparin competed almost as effectively as unlabeled HA for 125I-HA binding at 4 degrees C. Other saccharides including polygalacturonic acid, dextran, glucuronic acid, and N-acetylglucosamine competed poorly or not at all. We conclude that (i) the 125I-HA binding sites within liver endothelial cells are HA receptors, identical in affinity and specificity to those on the cell surface; (ii) the distribution of cellular HA receptors is similar to other receptor systems with about 50-80% being intracellular; (iii) the liver endothelial cell HA receptor recognizes several glycosaminoglycans; and (iv) the liver endothelial receptor is different in function and characteristics than the fibroblast HA receptor.

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