Publications by authors named "Stephen Evanko"

27 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

The extracellular matrix molecules versican and hyaluronan in urethral and vaginal tissues in stress urinary incontinence.

Neurourol Urodyn 2021 Mar 1;40(3):771-782. Epub 2021 Mar 1.

Section of Urology and Renal Transplantation, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington, USA.

Purpose: Abnormal extracellular matrix (ECM) changes are correlated with stress urinary incontinence (SUI). The ECM components versican (Vcan) and hyaluronan (HA) play key roles in regulating tissue inflammation and maintaining connective tissue homeostasis. We analyzed the localization and expression of these ECM components in urethral and vaginal tissues from a rat model of urinary incontinence and from human clinical specimens.

Methods: Nulliparous rats underwent vaginal distension (VD), a rodent model of SUI, or a sham procedure. Tissues were harvested from six rats per group at days 1, 4, and 21 for immunohistochemistry and RNA expression analysis of ECM components. Periurethral vaginal samples from female patients with SUI were also examined.

Results: High-intensity staining for Vcan was observed 1 day after procedure in both control and VD animals. This level of abundance persisted at day 4 in VD compared to control, with concurrent reduced messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of the Vcan-degrading enzymes ADAMTS5 and ADAMTS9 and reduced staining for the Vcan cleavage epitope DPEAAE. Abundance of HA was not different between VD and control, however mRNA expression of the HA synthase Has2 was significantly reduced in VD tissues at day 4. Abundant Vcan staining was observed in 60% of SUI patient samples, which was strongest in regions of disrupted elastin.

Conclusion: Reduction of Vcan-degrading enzymes and HA synthases at day 4 postsurgery indicates a potential delay in ECM turnover associated with SUI. Abundant Vcan is associated with inflammation and elastin fiber network disruption, warranting further investigation to determine its role in SUI pathogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/nau.24635DOI Listing
March 2021

Hyaluronan synthesis inhibition impairs antigen presentation and delays transplantation rejection.

Matrix Biol 2021 02 5;96:69-86. Epub 2020 Dec 5.

Division of Infectious Diseases and Geographic Medicine, Dept. of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Beckman Center, 279 Campus Drive, Stanford, CA 94305, United States. Electronic address:

A coat of pericellular hyaluronan surrounds mature dendritic cells (DC) and contributes to cell-cell interactions. We asked whether 4-methylumbelliferone (4MU), an oral inhibitor of HA synthesis, could inhibit antigen presentation. We find that 4MU treatment reduces pericellular hyaluronan, destabilizes interactions between DC and T-cells, and prevents T-cell proliferation in vitro and in vivo. These effects were observed only when 4MU was added prior to initial antigen presentation but not later, consistent with 4MU-mediated inhibition of de novo antigenic responses. Building on these findings, we find that 4MU delays rejection of allogeneic pancreatic islet transplant and allogeneic cardiac transplants in mice and suppresses allogeneic T-cell activation in human mixed lymphocyte reactions. We conclude that 4MU, an approved drug, may have benefit as an adjunctive agent to delay transplantation rejection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.matbio.2020.12.001DOI Listing
February 2021

A Role for HAPLN1 During Phenotypic Modulation of Human Lung Fibroblasts In Vitro.

J Histochem Cytochem 2020 11 16;68(11):797-811. Epub 2020 Oct 16.

Matrix Biology Program, Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason, Seattle, WA, USA.

Hyaluronan and proteoglycan link protein 1 (HAPLN1) stabilizes interactions between two important extracellular matrix (ECM) macromolecules, versican and hyaluronan, which facilitate proliferation of fibroblasts and their conversion to myofibroblasts. However, the role of HAPLN1 in these events has not been studied. Using immunocytochemistry, cellular and ECM locations of HAPLN1 were evaluated in cultured human lung fibroblasts during proliferation and conversion to myofibroblasts. HAPLN1 localized to pericellular matrices, associating with both versican and hyaluronan in the ECM and on the cell surface. Nuclear and total HAPLN1 immunostaining increased after myofibroblast induction. Confocal microscopy showed HAPLN1 predominant in the ECM under cells while versican predominated above cells. Versican and HAPLN1 were also juxtaposed in columnar inclusions in the cytoplasm and nucleus. Nuclear HAPLN1 staining in interphase cells redistributed to the cytosol during mitosis. In the absence of TGF-β1, addition of exogenous bovine HAPLN1 (together with aggrecan G1) facilitated myofibroblast formation, as seen by significant upregulation of α-smooth muscle actin (SMA) staining, while adding full-length bovine versican had no effect. Increased compaction of hyaluronan-rich ECM suggests that HAPLN1 plus G1 addition affects hyaluronan networks and myofibroblast formation. These observations demonstrate changes in both extracellular and intracellular localization of HAPLN1 during fibroblast proliferation and myofibroblast conversion suggesting a possible role in fibrotic remodeling.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1369/0022155420966663DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7649966PMC
November 2020

Versican-A Critical Extracellular Matrix Regulator of Immunity and Inflammation.

Front Immunol 2020 24;11:512. Epub 2020 Mar 24.

Division of Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine, Center for Lung Biology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA, United States.

The extracellular matrix (ECM) proteoglycan, versican increases along with other ECM versican binding molecules such as hyaluronan, tumor necrosis factor stimulated gene-6 (TSG-6), and inter alpha trypsin inhibitor (IαI) during inflammation in a number of different diseases such as cardiovascular and lung disease, autoimmune diseases, and several different cancers. These interactions form stable scaffolds which can act as "landing strips" for inflammatory cells as they invade tissue from the circulation. The increase in versican is often coincident with the invasion of leukocytes early in the inflammatory process. Versican interacts with inflammatory cells either indirectly via hyaluronan or directly via receptors such as CD44, P-selectin glycoprotein ligand-1 (PSGL-1), and toll-like receptors (TLRs) present on the surface of immune and non-immune cells. These interactions activate signaling pathways that promote the synthesis and secretion of inflammatory cytokines such as TNFα, IL-6, and NFκB. Versican also influences inflammation by interacting with a variety of growth factors and cytokines involved in regulating inflammation thereby influencing their bioavailability and bioactivity. Versican is produced by multiple cell types involved in the inflammatory process. Conditional total knockout of versican in a mouse model of lung inflammation demonstrated significant reduction in leukocyte invasion into the lung and reduced inflammatory cytokine expression. While versican produced by stromal cells tends to be pro-inflammatory, versican expressed by myeloid cells can create anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive microenvironments. Inflammation in the tumor microenvironment often contains elevated levels of versican. Perturbing the accumulation of versican in tumors can inhibit inflammation and tumor progression in some cancers. Thus versican, as a component of the ECM impacts immunity and inflammation through regulating immune cell trafficking and activation. Versican is emerging as a potential target in the control of inflammation in a number of different diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2020.00512DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7105702PMC
March 2021

The biochemistry and immunohistochemistry of versican.

Methods Cell Biol 2018 26;143:261-279. Epub 2017 Nov 26.

Matrix Biology Program, Benaroya Research Institute, Seattle, WA, United States. Electronic address:

Versican is a chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan found in the extracellular matrix that is important for changes in cell phenotype associated with development and disease. Versican has been shown to be involved in cardiovascular disorders, as well as lung disease and fibrosis, inflammatory bowel disease, cancer, and several other diseases that have an inflammatory component. Versican was first identified as a fibroblast proteoglycan and forms large multimolecular complexes with hyaluronan and other components of the provisional matrix during wound healing and inflammation. The biology of versican has been well studied. Versican plays a major role in embryogenesis, particularly heart formation, where versican deletion proves lethal. The ability to purify versican to characterize and to use in experimental systems is vital to defining its role in development and disease. Protein expression systems have proven challenging to obtain milligram quantities of full-length versican. Here, we describe proteoglycan biochemical purification techniques that have been developed by others, but which we have adapted to use with our source tissues and cells. We also include methods for immunohistochemical localization and quantitation of versican in tissue sections.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/bs.mcb.2017.08.015DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6419768PMC
November 2018

Crosstalk Between T Lymphocytes and Lung Fibroblasts: Generation of a Hyaluronan-Enriched Extracellular Matrix Adhesive for Monocytes.

J Cell Biochem 2017 08 18;118(8):2118-2130. Epub 2017 Apr 18.

Matrix Biology Program, Benaroya Research Institute, Seattle, Washington.

In immunity and inflammation, T cells are often associated with stromal mesenchymal cells such as fibroblasts. Hyaluronan and proteins that associate with hyaluronan such as versican and tumor necrosis factor-inducible gene-6 (TSG-6) are extracellular matrix (ECM) components that promote leukocyte adhesion, accumulation, and activation. However, the factors responsible for producing this specialized ECM and its impact on inflammatory events are not well understood. In this study, we explored the role of T cells in stimulating lung fibroblasts to produce an ECM that impacts monocyte adhesion. We found that CD3/CD28-activated human CD4+ T cells when co-cultured with human lung fibroblasts stimulated the expression of mRNA for hyaluronan synthase 2 (HAS2) and decreased the expression of hyaluronidase 2 (HYAL2). This led to an increase in the deposition of hyaluronan that formed cable-like structures within the ECM. Co-culturing activated T cells with fibroblasts also led to increased expression and accumulation of TSG-6. Surprisingly, addition of activated CD4+ T cells to the fibroblasts reduced the expression of mRNA for versican, and increased the expression of enzymes that degrade versican, such as ADAMTS4 and ADAMTS9 (a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with a thrombospondin type-1 motif) leading to a decrease in versican in the ECM of the co-cultures. Furthermore, addition of human monocytes to these co-cultures resulted in elevated monocyte adhesion to the cable-like structures in the ECM when compared to controls. These results illustrate the importance of crosstalk between T cells and fibroblasts in promoting the generation of a matrix that is adhesive for monocytes. J. Cell. Biochem. 118: 2118-2130, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jcb.25842DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5538566PMC
August 2017

Versican Deficiency Significantly Reduces Lung Inflammatory Response Induced by Polyinosine-Polycytidylic Acid Stimulation.

J Biol Chem 2017 Jan 28;292(1):51-63. Epub 2016 Nov 28.

From the Matrix Biology Program and

Viral infection is an exacerbating factor contributing to chronic airway diseases, such as asthma, via mechanisms that are still unclear. Polyinosine-polycytidylic acid (poly(I:C)), a Toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) agonist used as a mimetic to study viral infection, has been shown to elicit inflammatory responses in lungs and to exacerbate pulmonary allergic reactions in animal models. Previously, we have shown that poly(I:C) stimulates lung fibroblasts to accumulate an extracellular matrix (ECM), enriched in hyaluronan (HA) and its binding partner versican, which promotes monocyte adhesion. In the current study, we aimed to determine the in vivo role of versican in mediating inflammatory responses in poly(I:C)-induced lung inflammation using a tamoxifen-inducible versican-deficient mouse model (Vcan mice). In C57Bl/6 mice, poly(I:C) instillation significantly increased accumulation of versican and HA, especially in the perivascular and peribronchial regions, which were enriched in infiltrating leukocytes. In contrast, versican-deficient (Vcan) lungs did not exhibit increases in versican or HA in these regions and had strikingly reduced numbers of leukocytes in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and lower expression of inflammatory chemokines and cytokines. Poly(I:C) stimulation of lung fibroblasts isolated from control mice generated HA-enriched cable structures in the ECM, providing a substrate for monocytic cells in vitro, whereas lung fibroblasts from Vcan mice did not. Moreover, increases in proinflammatory cytokine expression were also greatly attenuated in the Vcan lung fibroblasts. These findings provide strong evidence that versican is a critical inflammatory mediator during poly(I:C)-induced acute lung injury and, in association with HA, generates an ECM that promotes leukocyte infiltration and adhesion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M116.753186DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5217699PMC
January 2017

Enhanced T cell responses to IL-6 in type 1 diabetes are associated with early clinical disease and increased IL-6 receptor expression.

Sci Transl Med 2016 09;8(356):356ra119

Translational Research Program, Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason, 1201 Ninth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101, USA.

Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a key pathogenic cytokine in multiple autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis, suggesting that dysregulation of the IL-6 pathway may be a common feature of autoimmunity. The role of IL-6 in type 1 diabetes (T1D) is not well understood. We show that signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) and STAT1 responses to IL-6 are significantly enhanced in CD4 and CD8 T cells from individuals with T1D compared to healthy controls. The effect is IL-6-specific because it is not seen with IL-10 or IL-27 stimulation, two cytokines that signal via STAT3. An important determinant of enhanced IL-6 responsiveness in T1D is IL-6 receptor surface expression, which correlated with phospho-STAT3 levels. Further, reduced expression of the IL-6R sheddase ADAM17 in T cells from patients indicated a mechanistic link to enhanced IL-6 responses in T1D. IL-6-induced STAT3 phosphorylation was inversely correlated with time from diagnosis, suggesting that dysregulation of IL-6 signaling may be a marker of early disease. Finally, whole-transcriptome analysis of IL-6-stimulated CD4(+) T cells from patients revealed previously unreported IL-6 targets involved in T cell migration and inflammation, including lymph node homing markers CCR7 and L-selectin. In summary, our study demonstrates enhanced T cell responses to IL-6 in T1D due, in part, to an increase in IL-6R surface expression. Dysregulated IL-6 responsiveness may contribute to diabetes through multiple mechanisms including altered T cell trafficking and indicates that individuals with T1D may benefit from IL-6-targeted therapeutic intervention such as the one that is being currently tested (NCT02293837).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/scitranslmed.aad9943DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5125295PMC
September 2016

G1 Domain of Versican Regulates Hyaluronan Organization and the Phenotype of Cultured Human Dermal Fibroblasts.

J Histochem Cytochem 2016 06 28;64(6):353-63. Epub 2016 Apr 28.

Matrix Biology Program, Benaroya Research Institute, Seattle, Washington (SPE,TNW)

Variants of versican have wide-ranging effects on cell and tissue phenotype, impacting proliferation, adhesion, pericellular matrix composition, and elastogenesis. The G1 domain of versican, which contains two Link modules that bind to hyaluronan (HA), may be central to these effects. Recombinant human G1 (rhG1) with an N-terminal 8 amino acid histidine (His) tag, produced in Nicotiana benthamiana, was applied to cultures of dermal fibroblasts, and effects on proliferation and pericellular HA organization determined. rhG1 located to individual strands of cell surface HA which aggregated into structures resembling HA cables. On both individual and aggregated strands, the spacing of attached rhG1 was similar (~120 nm), suggesting interaction between rhG1 molecules. Endogenous V0/V1, present on HA between attached rhG1, did not prevent cable formation, while treatment with V0/V1 alone, which also bound to HA, did not induce cables. A single treatment with rhG1 suppressed cell proliferation for an extended period. Treating cells for 4 weeks with rhG1 resulted in condensed layers of elongated, differentiated α actin-positive fibroblasts, with rhG1 localized to cell surfaces, and a compact extracellular matrix including both collagen and elastin. These results demonstrate that the G1 domain of versican can regulate the organization of pericellular HA and affect phenotype.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1369/0022155416643913DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4888412PMC
June 2016

Filamentous Bacteriophage Promote Biofilm Assembly and Function.

Cell Host Microbe 2015 Nov;18(5):549-59

Department of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.

Biofilms-communities of bacteria encased in a polymer-rich matrix-confer bacteria with the ability to persist in pathologic host contexts, such as the cystic fibrosis (CF) airways. How bacteria assemble polymers into biofilms is largely unknown. We find that the extracellular matrix produced by Pseudomonas aeruginosa self-assembles into a liquid crystal through entropic interactions between polymers and filamentous Pf bacteriophages, which are long, negatively charged filaments. This liquid crystalline structure enhances biofilm function by increasing adhesion and tolerance to desiccation and antibiotics. Pf bacteriophages are prevalent among P. aeruginosa clinical isolates and were detected in CF sputum. The addition of Pf bacteriophage to sputum polymers or serum was sufficient to drive their rapid assembly into viscous liquid crystals. Fd, a related bacteriophage of Escherichia coli, has similar biofilm-building capabilities. Targeting filamentous bacteriophage or the liquid crystalline organization of the biofilm matrix may represent antibacterial strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chom.2015.10.013DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4653043PMC
November 2015

Hyaluronan Controls the Deposition of Fibronectin and Collagen and Modulates TGF-β1 Induction of Lung Myofibroblasts.

Matrix Biol 2015 Mar 27;42:74-92. Epub 2014 Dec 27.

Matrix Biology Program, Benaroya Research Institute, Seattle, WA, United States. Electronic address:

The contribution of hyaluronan-dependent pericellular matrix to TGF-β1-driven induction and maintenance of myofibroblasts is not understood. Hyaluronan is an extracellular matrix (ECM) glycosaminoglycan important in cell adhesion, proliferation and migration, and is implicated in myofibroblast formation and maintenance. Reduced turnover of hyaluronan has been linked to differentiation of myofibroblasts and potentiation of lung fibrosis. Fibronectin is a fibril forming adhesive glycoprotein that is also upregulated following induction with TGF-β1. Although they are known to bind each other, the interplay between hyaluronan and fibronectin in the pericellular matrix during myofibroblast induction and matrix assembly is not clear. This study addresses the role of hyaluronan and its interaction with fibrillar matrix components during myofibroblast formation. Hyaluronan and fibronectin were increased and co-localized in the ECM following myofibroblast induction by TGF-β1. Inhibition of hyaluronan synthesis in TGF-β1-induced lung myofibroblasts over a 4day period with 4-methyl umbelliferone (4-MU) further enhanced myofibroblast morphology, caused increased deposition of fibronectin and type I collagen in the ECM, and increased expression of alpha-smooth muscle actin and hyaluronan synthase 2 (HAS2) mRNA. Hyaluronan oligosaccharides or hyaluronidase treatment, which more effectively disrupted the pericellular matrix, had similar effects. CD44 and β1 integrins co-localized in the cell membrane and along some stress fibers. However, CD44 and hyaluronan were specifically excluded from focal adhesions, and associated primarily with cortical actin. Time-lapse imaging of the immediate effects of hyaluronidase digestion showed that hyaluronan matrix primarily mediates attachment of membrane and cortical actin between focal contacts, suggesting that surface adhesion through hyaluronan and CD44 is distinct from focal adhesion through β1 integrins and fibronectin. Fluorescein-labeled hyaluronan bound regularly along fibronectin fibers and co-localized more with β1 integrin and less with CD44. Therefore, the hyaluronan matrix can interfere with the assembly of fibrillar ECM components, and this interplay regulates the degree of myofibroblast formation. These data also suggest that adhesion through hyaluronan matrix impacts cytoskeletal organization, and is potentially part of a clutch mechanism that regulates stick and slip of myofibroblasts by affecting the adhesion to and organization of fibronectin and collagen.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.matbio.2014.12.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4524654PMC
March 2015

Versican and the regulation of cell phenotype in disease.

Biochim Biophys Acta 2014 Aug 5;1840(8):2441-51. Epub 2014 Jan 5.

Department of Anatomy with Radiology, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.

Background: Versican is an extracellular matrix (ECM) proteoglycan that is present in the pericellular environment of most tissues and increases in many different diseases. Versican interacts with cells to influence the ability of cells to proliferate, migrate, adhere and assemble an ECM.

Scope Of Review: The structure of the versican molecule is briefly reviewed and studies highlighting those factors that promote versican synthesis and degradation and their impact on cell phenotype in disease are discussed. Particular attention is given to vascular disease, but other diseases where versican is important are covered as well, most notably different forms of cancers. Attention is given to mechanisms(s) by which versican influences cell behaviors through either direct or indirect processes. Versican produced by either stromal cells or myeloid cells can have a major impact influencing immunity and inflammation. Finally, studies controlling versican accumulation that either delay or inhibit the progression of disease will be highlighted.

Major Conclusions: Versican is one component of the ECM that can influence the ability of cells to proliferate, migrate, adhere, and remodel the ECM. Targeting versican as a way to control cell phenotype offers a novel approach in the treatment of disease.

Significance: ECM molecules such as versican contribute to the structural integrity of tissues and interact with cells through direct and indirect means to regulate, in part, cellular events that form the basis of disease. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Matrix-mediated cell behaviour and properties.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbagen.2013.12.028DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4074575PMC
August 2014

Hyaluronan and versican in the control of human T-lymphocyte adhesion and migration.

Matrix Biol 2012 Mar 20;31(2):90-100. Epub 2011 Nov 20.

Benaroya Research Institute, Seattle, WA 98101, United States.

The ability of lymphocytes to migrate freely through connective tissues is vital to efficient immune function. How the extracellular matrix (ECM) may affect T-cell adhesion and migration is not well understood. We have examined the adhesion and migration of activated human T-lymphocytes on ECM made by fibroblast-like synoviocytes and lung fibroblasts. These cells were minimally interactive until treated with a viral mimetic, Poly I:C. This treatment promoted myofibroblast formation and engendered a higher-order structured ECM, rich in versican and hyaluronan, to which T-cells avidly adhered in a hyaluronidase-sensitive manner. This Poly I:C-induced matrix impeded T-cell spreading and migration on and through synoviocyte monolayers, while hyaluronidase treatment or adding versican antibody during matrix formation reversed the effect on T-cell migration. Hyaluronidase also reversed the spread myofibroblast morphology. These data suggest that the viscous hyaluronan- and versican-rich matrix binds and constrains T-lymphocytes. Using purified matrix components and solid state matrices of defined composition, we uncovered a role for versican in modulating hyaluronan-T-cell interactions. Versican prevented T-cell binding to soluble hyaluronan, as well as the amoeboid shape change on hyaluronan-coated dishes and T-cell penetration of collagen gels. Together, these data suggest that hyaluronan and versican play a role in T-cell trafficking and function in inflamed tissues.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.matbio.2011.10.004DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3288568PMC
March 2012

Detection of coronary atherosclerotic plaques with superficial proteoglycans and foam cells using real-time intrinsic fluorescence spectroscopy.

Atherosclerosis 2011 Mar 27;215(1):96-102. Epub 2010 Nov 27.

G. R. Harrison Spectroscopy Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.

Objectives: The protein components of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), oxidized LDL and proteoglycans such as versican contain tryptophan, an amino acid with characteristic fluorescence features at 308 nm excitation wavelength. We hypothesize that intrinsic fluorescence spectroscopy at 308 nm excitation wavelength IFS308, a method suitable for clinical use, can identify coronary artery lesions with superficial foam cells (SFCs) and/or proteoglycans.

Methods: We subjected 119 human coronary artery specimens to in vitro fluorescence and reflectance spectroscopy. We used 5 basis spectra to model IFS308, and extracted their contributions to each individual IFS308 spectrum. A diagnostic algorithm using the contributions of Total Tryptophan and fibrous cap to IFS308 was built to identify specimens with SFCs and/or proteoglycans in their top 50 μm.

Results: We detected SFCs and/or proteoglycans, such as versican or the glycosaminoglycan hyaluronan, in 24 fibrous cap atheromas or pathologic intimal thickening (PIT) lesions. An algorithm using the contributions of Total Tryptophan and fibrous cap to IFS308 was able to identify these segments with 92% sensitivity and 80% specificity.

Conclusion: We were able to establish a set of characteristic LDL, oxidized LDL, versican and hyaluronan fluorescence spectra, ready to be used for real-time diagnosis. The IFS(308) technique detects SFCs and/or proteoglycans in fibrous cap atheromas and PIT lesions. SFCs and proteoglycans are histological markers of vulnerable plaques, and this study is a step further in developing an invasive clinical tool to detect the vulnerable atherosclerotic plaque.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2010.11.020DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3049853PMC
March 2011

Transforming growth factor-β regulation of proteoglycan synthesis in vascular smooth muscle: contribution to lipid binding and accelerated atherosclerosis in diabetes.

J Diabetes 2010 Dec;2(4):233-42

Diabetes and Cell Biology Laboratory, Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Monash University School of Medicine (Alfred Hospital), Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Atherosclerosis is accelerated in the setting of diabetes, but the factors driving this phenomenon remain elusive. Hyperglycemia leads to elevated levels of transforming growth factor (TGF)-β and TGF-β has been implicated as a factor in atherosclerosis. Given the established association between hyperglycemia and elevated TGF-β, it is plausible that elevated TGF-β levels in diabetes play a pathogenic role in the development of accelerated atherosclerosis. TGF-β is a potent regulator of extracellular matrix synthesis, including many actions on proteoglycan synthesis that lead to increased binding to low-density lipoprotein and therefore potentially increased lipid retention in the vessel wall and accelerated atherosclerosis. TGF-β signals through the canonical TGF-β receptor I-mediated phosphorylation of Smad transcription factors and TGF-β signaling is also known to involve, positively and negatively, interactions with the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways. The focus of the present review is on the effects of TGF-β on proteoglycan synthesis in vascular smooth muscle and particularly the signaling pathways through which TGF-β exerts its effects, because those pathways may be therapeutic targets for the prevention of pathological modifications in the proteoglycan component of the vessel wall in the vascular diseases of diabetes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1753-0407.2010.00089.xDOI Listing
December 2010

Th1 cytokines promote T-cell binding to antigen-presenting cells via enhanced hyaluronan production and accumulation at the immune synapse.

Cell Mol Immunol 2010 May 15;7(3):211-20. Epub 2010 Mar 15.

Benaroya Research Institute, 1201 Ninth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101, USA.

Hyaluronan (HA) production by dendritic cells (DCs) is known to promote antigen presentation and to augment T-cell activation and proliferation. We hypothesized that pericellular HA can function as intercellular 'glue' directly mediating T cell-DC binding. Using primary human cells, we observed HA-dependent binding between T cells and DCs, which was abrogated upon pre-treatment of the DCs with 4-methylumbelliferone (4-MU), an agent which blocks HA synthesis. Furthermore, T cells regulate HA production by DCs via T cell-derived cytokines in a T helper (Th) subset-specific manner, as demonstrated by the observation that cell-culture supernatants from Th1 but not Th2 clones promote HA production. Similar effects were seen upon the addition of exogenous Th1 cytokines, IL-2, interferon gamma (IFN-gamma) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha). The critical factors which determined the extent of DC-T cell binding in this system were the nature of the pre-treatment the DCs received and their capacity to synthesize HA, as T-cell clones which were pre-treated with monensin, added to block cytokine secretion, bound equivalently irrespective of their Th subset. These data support the existence of a feedforward loop wherein T-cell cytokines influence DC production of HA, which in turn affects the extent of DC-T cell binding. We also document the presence of focal deposits of HA at the immune synapse between T-cells and APC and on dendritic processes thought to be important in antigen presentation. These data point to a pivotal role for HA in DC-T cell interactions at the IS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/cmi.2010.9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3027489PMC
May 2010

Polyinosine-polycytidylic acid stimulates versican accumulation in the extracellular matrix promoting monocyte adhesion.

Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol 2010 Jul 28;43(1):109-20. Epub 2009 Aug 28.

Hope Heart Program, Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason, 1201 Ninth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101-2795, USA.

Viral infections are known to exacerbate asthma and other lung diseases in which chronic inflammatory processes are implicated, but the mechanism is not well understood. The viral mimetic, polyinosine-polycytidylic acid, causes accumulation of a versican- and hyaluronan-enriched extracellular matrix (ECM) by human lung fibroblasts with increased capacity for monocyte adhesion. The fivefold increase in versican retention in this ECM is due to altered compartmentalization, with decreased degradation of cell layer-associated versican, rather than an increase in total accumulation in the culture. This is consistent with decreased mRNA levels for all of the versican splice variants. Reduced versican degradation is further supported by low levels of the epitope, DPEAAE, a product of versican digestion by a disintegrin-like and metallopeptidase with thrombospondin type 1 motif enzymes, in the ECM. The distribution of hyaluronan is similarly altered with a 3.5-fold increase in the cell layer. Pulse-chase studies of radiolabeled hyaluronan show a 50% reduction in the rate of loss from the cell layer over 24 hours. Formation of monocyte-retaining, hyaluronidase-sensitive ECMs can be blocked by the presence of anti-versican antibodies. In comparison, human lung fibroblasts treated with the cytokines, IL-1beta plus TNF-alpha, synthesize increased amounts of hyaluronan, but do not retain it or versican in the ECM, which, in turn, does not retain monocytes. These results highlight an important role for versican in the hyaluronan-dependent binding of monocytes to the ECM of lung fibroblasts stimulated with polyinosine-polycytidylic acid.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1165/rcmb.2009-0081OCDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2911565PMC
July 2010

CD44 costimulation promotes FoxP3+ regulatory T cell persistence and function via production of IL-2, IL-10, and TGF-beta.

J Immunol 2009 Aug 27;183(4):2232-41. Epub 2009 Jul 27.

Benaroya Research Institute, Seattle, WA 98101, USA.

Work by our group and others has demonstrated a role for the extracellular matrix receptor CD44 and its ligand hyaluronan in CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T cell (Treg) function. Herein, we explore the mechanistic basis for this observation. Using mouse FoxP3/GFP(+) Treg, we find that CD44 costimulation promotes expression of FoxP3, in part through production of IL-2. This promotion of IL-2 production was resistant to cyclosporin A treatment, suggesting that CD44 costimulation may promote IL-2 production through bypassing FoxP3-mediated suppression of NFAT. CD44 costimulation increased production of IL-10 in a partially IL-2-dependent manner and also promoted cell surface TGF-beta expression. Consistent with these findings, Treg from CD44 knockout mice demonstrated impaired regulatory function ex vivo and depressed production of IL-10 and cell surface TGF-beta. These data reveal a novel role for CD44 cross-linking in the production of regulatory cytokines. Similar salutary effects on FoxP3 expression were observed upon costimulation with hyaluronan, the primary natural ligand for CD44. This effect is dependent upon CD44 cross-linking; while both high-molecular-weight hyaluronan (HA) and plate-bound anti-CD44 Ab promoted FoxP3 expression, neither low-molecular weight HA nor soluble anti-CD44 Ab did so. The implication is that intact high-molecular weight HA can cross-link CD44 only in those settings where it predominates over fragmentary LMW-HA, namely, in uninflamed tissue. We propose that intact but not fragmented extracellular is capable of cross-linking CD44 and thereby maintains immunologic tolerance in uninjured or healing tissue.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4049/jimmunol.0900191DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3057032PMC
August 2009

Organization of hyaluronan and versican in the extracellular matrix of human fibroblasts treated with the viral mimetic poly I:C.

J Histochem Cytochem 2009 Nov 6;57(11):1041-60. Epub 2009 Jul 6.

Hope Heart Program, Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason, Seattle, WA 98101, USA.

We have examined structural details of hyaluronan- and versican-rich pericellular matrices in human lung fibroblasts, as well as fixation effects after treatment with the viral mimetic, poly I:C. Lateral aggregation of hyaluronan chains was promoted by acid-ethanol-formalin fixation compared with a network appearance with formalin alone. However, hyaluronidase-sensitive cable structures were seen in live cells, suggesting that they are not a fixation artifact. With all fixatives, versican and hyaluronan probes bound alternately along strands extending from the plasma membrane. However, a yellow colocalization signal required aggregation/overlap of several hyaluronan/versican strands and was more pronounced after acid-ethanol-formalin fixation. In addition to the main cell surface, hyaluronan and versican were also associated with fine actin-positive membrane protrusions, retraction fibers, and surface blebs. After wounding plus treatment with poly I:C, cells displayed larger hyaluronan coats and cable-like structures, as well as more membrane protrusions. However, treated cells did not migrate and had increased stress fibers compared with control wounded cells. Deposition of hyaluronan into cable-like structures in response to poly I:C was diminished but still apparent following actin filament disruption with cytochalasin D, suggesting that the protrusions only partially facilitate cable formation. As seen by scanning electron microscopy, the membrane protrusions may participate in poly I:C-induced binding of monocytes to hyaluronan- and versican-rich matrices. These results suggest that poly I:C-induced hyaluronan- and versican-rich cable structures are not deposited during migration, and that cellular protrusions partially contribute to hyaluronan cable formation. This manuscript contains online supplemental material at http://www.jhc.org. Please visit this article online to view these materials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1369/jhc.2009.953802DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2762883PMC
November 2009

The accumulation of versican in the nodules of benign prostatic hyperplasia.

Prostate 2009 Feb;69(2):149-58

Department of Pathology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195-6100, USA.

Background: Proteoglycans, a complex group of extracellular matrix (ECM) molecules, are elevated in benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Versican is a stromal proteoglycan present in prostate tissue. Versican expression is elevated in tissues with increased proliferation. Based on these observations, we determined the extent and distribution of versican expression in prostates with BPH.

Methods: The involvement of versican in BPH nodules was compared with levels in non-nodular transition (TZ) and peripheral zone (PZ) tissues from 18 human prostate glands using immunohistochemistry, Northern blots and/or QRTPCR to localize versican and quantify versican mRNA transcript levels, and Western blots to assess gene product levels.

Results: Increased versican immunoreactivity was observed in the stroma of BPH nodules. Higher steady state levels of versican variants V0, V1, and V3 mRNA transcript and gene product were detected in the nodular tissues than in the non-nodular TZ or PZ parenchyma.

Conclusions: These results suggest that versican may play a role in nodule formation in BPH.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pros.20861DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4092210PMC
February 2009

The effect of PPAR ligands to modulate glucose metabolism alters the incorporation of metabolic precursors into proteoglycans synthesized by human vascular smooth muscle cells.

Arch Physiol Biochem 2008 Jul;114(3):171-7

CSIRO, Molecular and Health Technologies, Bayview Avenue, Clayton, Victoria 3168, Australia.

PPAR ligands are important effectors of energy metabolism and can modify proteoglycan synthesis by vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). Describing the cell biology of these important clinical agents is important for understanding their full clinical potential, including toxicity. Troglitazone (10 microM) and fenofibrate (30 microM) treatment of VSMCs reduces ((35)S)-sulphate incorporation into proteoglycans due to a reduction of glycosaminoglycan (GAG) chain length. Conversely, under physiological glucose conditions (5.5 mM), the same treatment increases ((3)H)-glucosamine incorporation into GAGs. This apparent paradox is the consequence of an increase in the intracellular ((3)H)-galactosamine specific activity from 48.2 +/- 3.2 microCi/ micromol to 90.7 +/- 11.0 microCi/ micromol (P < 0.001) and 57.1 +/- 2.6 microCi/ micromol (P < 0.05) when VSMCs were treated with troglitazone and fenofibrate, respectively. The increased specific activity observed with troglitazone (10 microM) treatment correlates with a two-fold increase in glucose consumption, while fenofibrate (50 microM) treatment showed a modest (14.6%) increase in glucose consumption. We conclude that the sole use of glucosamine precursors to assess GAG biosynthesis results in misleading conclusions when assessing the effect of PPAR ligands on VSMC proteoglycan biosynthesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13813450802181013DOI Listing
July 2008

Hyaluronan-dependent pericellular matrix.

Adv Drug Deliv Rev 2007 Nov 14;59(13):1351-65. Epub 2007 Aug 14.

The Hope Heart Program, Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason, 1201 9th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101, USA.

Hyaluronan is a multifunctional glycosaminoglycan that forms the structural basis of the pericellular matrix. Hyaluronan is extruded directly through the plasma membrane by one of three hyaluronan synthases and anchored to the cell surface by the synthase or cell surface receptors such as CD44 or RHAMM. Aggregating proteoglycans and other hyaluronan-binding proteins, contribute to the material and biological properties of the matrix and regulate cell and tissue function. The pericellular matrix plays multiple complex roles in cell adhesion/de-adhesion, and cell shape changes associated with proliferation and locomotion. Time-lapse studies show that pericellular matrix formation facilitates cell detachment and mitotic cell rounding. Hyaluronan crosslinking occurs through various proteins, such as tenascin, TSG-6, inter-alpha-trypsin inhibitor, pentraxin and TSP-1. This creates higher order levels of structured hyaluronan that may regulate inflammation and other biological processes. Microvillous or filopodial membrane protrusions are created by active hyaluronan synthesis, and form the scaffold of hyaluronan coats in certain cells. The importance of the pericellular matrix in cellular mechanotransduction and the response to mechanical strain are also discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.addr.2007.08.008DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2174428PMC
November 2007

Cutting edge: high molecular weight hyaluronan promotes the suppressive effects of CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells.

J Immunol 2007 Jul;179(2):744-7

Benaroya Research Institute, Seattle, WA 98101, USA.

Hyaluronan is a glycosaminoglycan present in the extracellular matrix. When hyaluronan is degraded during infection and injury, low m.w. forms are generated whose interactions influence inflammation and angiogenesis. Intact high m.w. hyaluronan, conversely, conveys anti-inflammatory signals. We demonstrate that high m.w. hyaluronan enhances human CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T cell functional suppression of responder cell proliferation, whereas low m.w. hyaluronan does not. High m.w. hyaluronan also up-regulates the transcription factor FOXP3 on CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T cells. These effects are only seen with activated CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T cells and are associated with the expression of CD44 isomers that more highly bind high m.w. hyaluronan. At higher concentrations, high m.w. hyaluronan also has direct suppressive effects on T cells. We propose that the state of HA in the matrix environment provides contextual cues to CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T cells and T cells, thereby providing a link between the innate inflammatory network and the regulation of adaptive immune responses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4049/jimmunol.179.2.744DOI Listing
July 2007

Overexpression of hyaluronan synthases alters vascular smooth muscle cell phenotype and promotes monocyte adhesion.

J Cell Physiol 2006 Feb;206(2):378-85

Hope Heart Program, Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason, Seattle, Washington 98101-2795, USA.

Hyaluronan (HA) accumulates in vascular disease but its functional role is not fully understood. To investigate the impact of HA enriched extracellular matrices (ECM) on cell phenotype, arterial smooth muscle cells (ASMCs) were transduced with retroviral constructs (LXSN) encoding murine has-1, has-2, and has-3. HA synthesis was significantly elevated in has transduced ASMCs. Metabolically labeled HA from has-1 and has-2 transduced cells was present mostly in high molecular weight (HWA) fractions (2-10x10(6) Da), whereas HA produced by has-3 and control cells was present in lower molecular weight fractions (approximately 2x10(6) Da). Both has-1 and has-3 transduced ASMCs accumulated more pericellular HA than has-2 transduced ASMCs. All has transduced ASMCs had attenuated growth and migration rates, and a decreased detachment response. Affinity histochemistry revealed that has-1 transduced ASMCs accumulated the greatest amount of HA containing ECM than the other transduced ASMCs. This ECM was hyaluronidase sensitive and bound a significantly greater number of monocytes than the ECM generated by has-2 or has-3 transduced ASMCs. Confocal microscopy showed CD44 positive monocytes bound to hyaluronidase sensitive ECM in has-1 transduced ASMCs. These data implicate specific has isoforms in the formation of HA enriched pro-inflammatory ECMs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jcp.20468DOI Listing
February 2006

Intracellular hyaluronan in arterial smooth muscle cells: association with microtubules, RHAMM, and the mitotic spindle.

J Histochem Cytochem 2004 Dec;52(12):1525-35

Hope Heart Program-Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason, 1201 Ninth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101-2795, USA.

Although considered a pericellular matrix component, hyaluronan was recently localized in the cytoplasm and nucleus of proliferating cells, supporting earlier reports that hyaluronan was present in locations such as the nucleus, rough endoplasmic reticulum, and caveolae. This suggests that it can play roles both inside and outside the cell. Hyaluronan metabolism is coupled to mitosis and cell motility, but it is not clear if intracellular hyaluronan associates with cytoskeletal elements or plays a structural role. Here we report the distribution of intracellular hyaluronan, microtubules, and RHAMM in arterial smooth muscle cells in vitro. The general distribution of intracellular hyaluronan more closely resembled microtubule staining rather than actin filaments. Hyaluronan was abundant in the perinuclear microtubule-rich areas and was present in lysosomes, other vesicular structures, and the nucleolus. Partially fragmented fluorescein-hyaluronan was preferentially translocated to the perinuclear area compared with high-molecular-weight hyaluronan. In the mitotic spindle, hyaluronan colocalized with tubulin and with the hyaladherin RHAMM, a cell surface receptor and microtubule-associated protein that interacts with dynein and maintains spindle pole stability. Internalized fluorescein-hyaluronan was also seen at the spindle. Following telophase, an abundance of hyaluronan near the midbody microtubules at the cleavage furrow was also noted. In permeabilized cells, fluorescein-hyaluronan bound to RHAMM-associated microtubules. These findings suggest novel functions for hyaluronan in cellular physiology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1369/jhc.4A6356.2004DOI Listing
December 2004

Intracellular hyaluronan: a new frontier for inflammation?

Biochim Biophys Acta 2004 Jul;1673(1-2):3-12

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA.

A variety of obstacles have hindered the ultrastructural localization of hyaluronan (HA). These include a lack of adequate fixation techniques to prevent the loss of HA, the lack of highly sensitive and specific probes, and a lack of accessibility due to the masking of HA by HA-binding macromolecules such as proteoglycans and glycoproteins. Despite these problems, a number of studies, both biochemical and histochemical, have been published indicating that HA is not restricted to the extracellular milieu, but is also present intracellularly. This review focuses on the possible functions of intracellular HA, its potential relationships to extracellular HA structures, and implications for inflammatory processes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbagen.2004.02.013DOI Listing
July 2004

Characterization of ADAMTS-9 and ADAMTS-20 as a distinct ADAMTS subfamily related to Caenorhabditis elegans GON-1.

J Biol Chem 2003 Mar 3;278(11):9503-13. Epub 2003 Jan 3.

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio 44195, USA.

We demonstrate that in humans, two metalloproteases, ADAMTS-9 (1935 amino acids) and ADAMTS-20 (1911 amino acids) are orthologs of GON-1, an ADAMTS protease required for gonadal morphogenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans. ADAMTS-9 and ADAMTS-20 have an identical modular structure, are distinct in possessing 15 TSRs and a unique C-terminal domain, and have a similar gene structure, suggesting that they comprise a new subfamily of human ADAMTS proteases. ADAMTS20 is very sparingly expressed, although it is detectable in epithelial cells of the breast and lung. However, ADAMTS9 is highly expressed in embryonic and adult tissues, and therefore we characterized the ADAMTS-9 protein further. Although the ADAMTS-9 zymogen has many proprotein convertase processing sites, pulse-chase analysis, site-directed mutagenesis, and amino acid sequencing demonstrated that maturation to the active form occurs by selective proprotein convertase (e.g. furin) cleavage of the Arg(287)-Phe(288) bond. Although lacking a transmembrane sequence, ADAMTS-9 is retained near the cell surface as well as in the ECM of transiently transfected COS-1 and 293 cells. COS-1 cells transfected with ADAMTS9 (but not vector-transfected cells) proteolytically cleaved bovine versican and aggrecan core proteins at the Glu(441)-Ala(442) bond of versican V1 and the Glu(1771)-Ala(1772) bond of aggrecan, respectively. In contrast, the ADAMTS-9 catalytic domain alone was neither localized to the cell surface nor able to confer these proteolytic activities on cells, demonstrating that the ancillary domains of ADAMTS-9, including the TSRs, are required both for specific extracellular localization and for its versicanase and aggrecanase activities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M211009200DOI Listing
March 2003