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Endothelial inflammation: The role of differential expression of N-deacetylease/N-sulphotransferase enzymes in alteration of the immunological properties of heparan sulphate

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Simi Ali, Emeritus Professor John Kirby


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Heparan sulphate N-deacetylase/N-sulphotransferase (NDST) enzymes catalyse the reaction that initiates sulphation and subsequent modification of the oligosaccharide, heparan sulphate (HS). The extent and distribution of sulphate substitution on HS plays a vital role in regulation of the binding of a range of proteins, including IFN-γ, several interleukins and most chemokines. In this study, the expression of NDST transcripts was found to be non-uniform between a range of cell types, suggesting that different cells produce characteristic HS species. It was found that stimulation of the HMEC-1 microvascular endothelial cell line with the pro-inflammatory cytokines IFN-γ and TNF-α caused a transient decrease in the level of NDST-1 and -2 transcripts after 4 hours (P<0.05 and P<0.01 respectively), but the expression of NDST-1 increased above control levels after 16 hours (P<0.01). The change in NDST expression was concurrent with an increase in the abundance of sulphated HS epitopes on the cell surface; this was not caused by variation in the expression of proteoglycans or by changes in the rate of GAG turnover. Cytokine-stimulated endothelial cells also showed an increase in their potential to bind RANTES (CCL5); this was abrogated by chlorate blockade of sulphotransferase activity or by heparitinase cleavage of cell surface HS. Monolayers of cytokine-stimulated HMEC-1 also supported an enhanced leukocyte chemotactic response towards RANTES. This study demonstrated that pro-inflammatory cytokines can increase NDST expression leading to increased sulphation of HS and a corresponding increase in sequestration of functional RANTES at the apical surface of endothelial cells. This may enhance leukocyte extravasation at sites of inflammation.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Carter NM, Ali S, Kirby JA

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Cell Science

Year: 2003

Volume: 116

Issue: 17

Pages: 3591-3600

ISSN (print): 0021-9533

ISSN (electronic): 1477-9137

Publisher: The Company of Biologists Ltd


DOI: 10.1242/jcs.00662

PubMed id: 12876215


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