Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Biol Chem. 1998 Oct 16;273(42):27124-9.

A role for polysialic acid in neural cell adhesion molecule heterophilic binding to proteoglycans.

Author information

  • 1Department of Neurosciences, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio 44106, USA.


The neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) is known to participate in both homophilic and heterophilic binding, the latter including mechanisms that involve interaction with proteoglycans. The polysialic acid (PSA) moiety of NCAM can serve as a negative regulator of homophilic binding, but indirect evidence has suggested that PSA can also be involved in heterophilic binding. We have examined this potential positive role for PSA in terms of the adhesion of PSA-expressing mouse F11 cells and chick embryonic brain cells to substrates composed of the purified heparan sulfate proteoglycans agrin and 6C4. This adhesion was specifically inhibited by polyclonal anti-NCAM Fab antibodies, monoclonal anti-PSA antibodies, PSA itself, and enzymatic removal of either PSA or heparan sulfate side chains. By contrast, the adhesion was not affected by chondroitinase, and cell binding to laminin was not inhibited by any of these treatments. A specific NCAM-heparan sulfate interaction in this adhesion was further indicated by its inhibition with monoclonal anti-NCAM Fab antibodies that recognize the known heparin-binding domain of NCAM and with the HBD-2 peptide derived from this region, but not with antibodies directed against other regions of the protein including the homophilic binding region. Together, the results suggest that PSA can act in vitro either as a receptor in NCAM heterophilic adhesion or as a promoter of binding between heparan sulfate proteoglycans and the NCAM heparin-binding domain.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Support Center