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Exp Cell Res. 1993 Oct;208(2):422-9.

Synthesis and assembly of the hyaluronan-containing coats around normal human mesothelial cells.

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Department of Medical and Physiological Chemistry, University of Uppsala, Sweden.


In this study we examined the capacity of normal human mesothelial (NHM) cells and human malignant mesothelioma cells to form hyaluronan-containing pericellular matrices or "coats." The assembly of the pericellular coats was visualized by a particle exclusion assay. We found that large hyaluronan-containing coats were formed around NHM cells whereas their transformed counterparts had no or very limited coats. The coats were removed by treatment with Streptomyces hyaluronidase, which specifically degrades hyaluronan. NHM cells exhibited hyaluronan-containing pericellular matrix within 5 h after seeding. The formation of the coats was stimulated by platelet-derived growth factor and epidermal growth factor. Interestingly, the assembly of the hyaluronan-dependent pericellular matrices was inhibited by the addition of hyaluronan dodecasaccharides. The inhibitory effect on the formation of the coats was due to a destabilization of pericellular matrix and not due to an inhibitory effect of hyaluronan dodecasaccharides on hyaluronan synthesis. In contrast, hyaluronan hexasaccharides, an inhibitor of the interaction between polymeric hyaluronan and its cell surface receptors, had no effect on the size of the coat. Thus, our results are compatible with the possibility that the pericellular matrix surrounding NHM cells consists of newly synthesized hyaluronan which is extruded from the cell and independent of hyaluronan receptors on the cell surface. The coat seems to be stabilized by interactions (hyaluronan-hyaluronan or hyaluronan-protein bridges) which can be prevented by hyaluronan dodecasaccharides.

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