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The proform of the eosinophil major basic protein binds the cell surface through a site distinct from its C-type lectin ligand-binding region

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The highly basic eosinophil major basic protein (MBP), present in the crystalloid core of eosinophil leukocyte granules, has both cytotoxic and cytostimulatory properties and is directly implicated in a number of diseases. The crystal structure of MBP resembles that of the C-type lectin (CTL) superfamily, and recent data showed that MBP binds heparan sulfate glycosaminoglycan (GAG), with the CTL ligand-binding region as the binding site. MBP is synthesized as a proform (pro-MBP) containing an acidic propiece believed to neutralize the basic MBP domain. Using flow cytometry and site-directed mutagenesis, we demonstrate here that the MBP domain of pro-MBP binds to heparan sulfate GAG on the cell surface and that this is independent of GAG covalently bound to pro-MBP. Eight basic residues located in the CTL ligand-binding region of MBP were hypothesized previously to mediate GAG binding, but we found that surface binding was not compromised by the substitution of these residues with alanine. However, the analysis of a series of mutants with surface-exposed residues substituted with alanine showed that Ser-166, Arg-168, and Arg-171 are involved in surface binding. A binding site formed by these residues is located in the MBP domain between loop 1 and beta-strand 5, outside the CTL ligand-binding region. The binding of a cell-surface heparan sulfate proteoglycan may be important in MBP action, and our findings suggest that two regions shown previously to contain the cytotoxic and cytostimulatory properties of MBP are accessible for ligand interaction in cell surface-bound MBP.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Pages (from-to)31509-31516
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2006

    Research areas

  • Amino Acid Sequence, Binding Sites, Cell Membrane, Eosinophil Major Basic Protein, Glycosaminoglycans, Humans, Lectins, Ligands, Models, Molecular, Molecular Sequence Data, Protein Binding, Protein Structure, Secondary, Protein Structure, Tertiary, Recombinant Proteins

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