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Biochemistry. 1998 Jul 28;37(30):10643-52.

Pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF) binds to glycosaminoglycans: analysis of the binding site.

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Laboratory of Retinal Cell and Molecular Biology, NEI, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-2740, USA.

Erratum in

  • Biochemistry 1998 Dec 22;37(51):18128.


Pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF), a neurotrophic protein, is a secreted serpin identified in extracellular matrixes. We show that PEDF extractions from the interphotoreceptor matrix are more efficient with increasing NaCl concentrations, indicating that ionic interactions mediate its association with this polyanionic matrix. We have used affinity chromatography and ultrafiltration to probe for direct binding of PEDF to glycosaminoglycans/polyanions. Correctly folded PEDF bound to immobilized heparin, chondroitin sulfate-A, -B, -C, and dextran sulfate columns and eluted from each with an increase in NaCl concentration. However, in the presence of urea, the protein lost its affinity for heparin. Binding of PEDF to heparan sulfate proteoglycan in solution was in a concentration-dependent fashion (half-maximal specific binding EC50 = 40 micrograms/mL) and was sensitive to increasing NaCl concentrations. The glycosaminoglycan-binding region was analyzed using chemical modification and limited proteolysis. PEDF chemically modified on lysine residues by biotinylation lost its capacity for interacting with heparin, implicating the involvement of PEDF lysine residues in heparin binding. Cleavage of the serpin-exposed loop with chymotrypsin did not affect the heparin-binding property. A limited proteolysis product containing residues 21-approximately 260 bound to heparin with similar affinity as the intact PEDF. Homology modeling of PEDF based on the X-ray crystal structures of antithrombin III and ovalbumin shows a region at the center of beta-sheet A-strands 2 and 3- and helix F that has a basic electrostatic surface potential and is densely populated with lysines exposed to the surface (K134, K137, K189, K191, H212, and K214) that are available to interact with various glycosaminoglycans/polyanions. This region represents a novel site for glycosaminoglycan binding in a serpin, which in PEDF, is distinct and nonoverlapping from the PEDF neurotrophic active region.

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