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Biochem J. 1993 Jan 15;289 ( Pt 2):523-7.

Binding of human xanthine oxidase to sulphated glycosaminoglycans on the endothelial-cell surface.

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Department of Pharmaceutics, Gifu Pharmaceutical University, Japan.


Much evidence has suggested that the superoxide generated by xanthine oxidase (XOD) within the endothelial cell triggers characteristic free-radical-mediated tissue injuries. Although it has been reported that XOD exists not only in the cytoplasm, but also on the outside surface of the endothelial cell membrane, it is not clear how XOD localizes on the outside of the plasma membrane. Purified human xanthine oxidase (h-XOD) had an affinity for heparin-Sepharose. The binding was largely independent of the pH over the physiological range, whereas it tended to increase at lower pH and to decrease at higher pH. Exposure of h-XOD to the lysine-specific reagent trinitrobenzenesulphonic acid or the arginine-specific reagent phenylglyoxal caused it to lose its affinity for heparin-Sepharose. The binding of h-XOD to heparin is apparently of electrostatic nature, and both lysine and arginine residues are involved in the binding. h-XOD was found to bind to cultured porcine aortic endothelial cells, and this binding was inhibited by the addition of heparin or pretreatment of the cells with heparinase and/or heparitinase. Intravenous injection of heparin into two healthy persons led to a prompt increase in plasma h-XOD concentration. These results suggest that XOD localizes on the outside surface of endothelial cells by association with polysaccharide chains of heparin-like proteoglycans on the endothelial-cell membranes. Superoxide extracellularly generated by XOD may injure the source-endothelial-cell membrane and also attract and activate closely appositional neutrophils, which themselves actually cause progressive oxidative damage.

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