Heparan sulphate proteoglycan as mediator of some adhesive responses and cytoskeletal reorganization of cells on fibronectin matrices: independent versus cooperative functions.

L. A. Culp, J. Laterra, M. W. Lark, R. J. Beyth, S. L. Tobey

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26 Scopus citations


Fibronectin is a multifunctional glycoprotein which promotes the adhesion of a variety of cell types to extracellular matrices, including artificial tissue culture substrata. Biochemical analyses of substratum adhesion sites indicated important functions for cell-surface heparan sulphate proteoglycan (HS-PG) in directly mediating adhesive responses by the binding of heparan sulphate sequences to fibronectin. In addition, fibronectin has a binding domain for a cell surface 'receptor' (possibly a 140K glycoprotein) important in these responses. To differentiate the relative importance of these two binding activities, a proteolytically generated cell-binding fragment of fibronectin has been isolated which binds to the 140K 'receptor' but not to HS or to collagen. Platelet factor 4 (PF4), a tetravalent HS-binding protein, provides a model of the tetravalent HS-binding activity of fibronectin, as supported by affinity chromatography studies (these studies also reveal the complexity of HS-PG metabolism in adhesion sites). Responses are measured on substrata coated with the cell-binding fragment of fibronectin, intact fibronectin, or PF4, singly or in combination. Fibroblast-like BALB/c 3T3 cells form both close and tight-focal adhesive contacts with associated microfilament stress fibres on intact fibronectin. Whereas HS-PG binding appears to mediate the formation of close contacts and linear microfilament bundles, a cooperative relationship exists between the HS- and the cell-binding activities of the intact fibronectin molecule in the formation of focal contacts and stress fibres. Human dermal fibroblasts generate different adhesive responses on HS-binding or cell-binding substrata, which are dependent on whether cells have been grown in medium with ascorbate to maximize production of their own collagenous matrix. As with 3T3 cells, focal contact and stress fibre formations of dermal cells require both binding activities in the intact fibronectin molecule. A third system consists of neuroblastoma tumour cells which adhere and extend neurites on fibronectin. Cell-body adherence, but not neurite extension, occurs on HS-binding matrices whereas neurite extension requires only fibronectin's cell-binding activity; the responses of primary peripheral neurons were exactly the opposite and CNS neurons did not respond at all. These studies indicate the diversity of molecular mechanisms by which various cells interact with the multifunctional fibronectin molecule in order to perform specialized functions, as well as the independent or cooperative functions of heparan sulphate proteoglycan on the cell surface in mediating these responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)158-183
Number of pages26
JournalCiba Foundation symposium
StatePublished - 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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