Departmental Papers (BE)

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

October 2001


P-selectin glycoprotein ligand-1 (PSGL-1) is a large (240 kDa) glycoprotein found on the surface of nearly all leukocytes. The mature molecule is decorated with multiple N- and O-linked glycans and displays copies of the tetrasaccharide sialyl-Lewisx (sLeX), as well as a cluster of three tyrosine sulfate (tyr-SO3) groups near the N-terminus of the processed protein. Previous studies have suggested that PSGL-1 needs to be tyrosine-sulfated, in addition to glycosylated with sLeX, to successfully interact with P-selectin. To better understand how biochemical features of the PSGL-1 ligand are related to its adhesion phenotype, we have measured the dynamics of adhesion under flow of a series of well-defined PSGL-1 variants that differ in their biochemical modification, to both P- and E-selectin-coated substrates. These variants are distinct PSGL-1 peptides: one that possesses sLeX in conjunction with three N-terminal tyr-SO3 groups (SGP3), one that possesses sLeX without tyrosine sulfation (GP1), and one that lacks sLeX but has three N-terminal tyr-SO3 groups (SP3). Although all peptides expressing sLeX, tyr-SO3, or both supported some form of rolling adhesion on P-selectin, only peptides expressing sLeX groups showed rolling adhesion on E-selectin. On P-selectin, the PSGL-1 peptides demonstrated a decreasing strength of adhesion in the following order: SGP3 > GP1 > SP3. Robust, rolling adhesion on P-selectin was mediated by the GP1 peptide, despite its lack of tyrosine sulfation. However, the addition of tyrosine sulfation to glycosylated peptides (SGP3) creates a super ligand for P-selectin that supports slower rolling adhesion at all shear rates and supports rolling adhesion at much higher shear rates. Tyrosine sulfation has no similar effect on PSGL-1 rolling on E-selectin. Such functional distinctions in rolling dynamics are uniquely realized with a cell-free system, which permits precise, unambiguous identification of the functional activity of adhesive ligands. These findings are consistent with structural and functional characterizations of the interactions between these peptides and E- and P-selectin published recently.


Reprinted from Biophysical Journal, Volume 81, Issue 4, October 2001, pages 2001-2009.
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Date Posted: 20 February 2005

This document has been peer reviewed.