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Platelet Endothelial Cell Adhesion Molecule 1 (PECAM-1) is a major component of the endothelial cell intercellular junction. Previous studies have shown that PECAM-1 homophilic interactions, mediated by amino-terminal immunoglobulin homology domain 1, contribute to maintenance of the vascular permeability barrier and to its re-establishment following inflammatory or thrombotic insult. PECAM-1 glycans account for ∼30% of its molecular mass, and the newly solved crystal structure of human PECAM-1 immunoglobulin homology domain 1 reveals that a glycan emanating from the asparagine residue at position 25 (Asn-25) is located within the trans homophilic-binding interface, suggesting a role for an Asn-25-associated glycan in PECAM-1 homophilic interactions. In support of this possibility, unbiased molecular docking studies revealed that negatively charged α2,3 sialic acid moieties bind tightly to a groove within the PECAM-1 homophilic interface in an orientation that favors the formation of an electrostatic bridge with positively charged Lys-89, mutation of which has been shown previously to disrupt PECAM-1-mediated homophilic binding. To verify the contribution of the Asn-25 glycan to endothelial barrier function, we generated an N25Q mutant form of PECAM-1 that is not glycosylated at this position and examined its ability to contribute to vascular integrity in endothelial cell-like REN cells. Confocal microscopy showed that although N25Q PECAM-1 concentrates normally at cell-cell junctions, the ability of this mutant form of PECAM-1 to support re-establishment of a permeability barrier following disruption with thrombin was significantly compromised. Taken together, these data suggest that a sialic acid-containing glycan emanating from Asn-25 reinforces dynamic endothelial cell-cell interactions by stabilizing the PECAM-1 homophilic binding interface. © 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.


Panida Lertkiatmongkol, Cathy Paddock, Debra K Newman, Jieqing Zhu, Michael J Thomas, Peter J Newman. The Role of Sialylated Glycans in Human Platelet Endothelial Cell Adhesion Molecule 1 (PECAM-1)-mediated Trans Homophilic Interactions and Endothelial Cell Barrier Function. The Journal of biological chemistry. 2016 Dec 09;291(50):26216-26225

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PMID: 27793989

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