Cyclophilin B (CyPB) is a heparin-binding protein first identified as a receptor for cyclosporin A. In previous studies, we reported that CyPB triggers chemotaxis and integrin-mediated adhesion of T-lymphocytes by way of interaction with two types of binding sites. The first site corresponds to a signalling receptor; the second site has been identified as heparan sulphate (HS) and appears crucial to induce cell adhesion. Characterization of the HS-binding unit is critical to understand the requirement of HS in pro-adhesive activity of CyPB. By using a strategy based on gel mobility shift assays with fluorophore-labelled oligosaccharides, we demonstrated that the minimal heparin unit required for efficient binding of CyPB is an octasaccharide. The mutants CyPBKKK− [where KKK− refers to the substitutions K3A(Lys3→Ala)/K4A/K5A] and CyPBΔYFD (where Tyr14-Phe-Asp16 has been deleted) failed to interact with octasaccharides, confirming that the Y14FD16 and K3KK5 clusters are required for CyPB binding. Molecular modelling revealed that both clusters are spatially arranged so that they may act synergistically to form a binding site for the octasaccharide. We then demonstrated that heparin-derived octasaccharides and higher degree of polymerization oligosaccharides inhibited the interaction between CyPB and fluorophore-labelled HS chains purified from T-lymphocytes, and strongly reduced the HS-dependent pro-adhesive activity of CyPB. However, oligosaccharides or heparin were unable to restore adhesion of heparinase-treated T-lymphocytes, indicating that HS has to be present on the cell membrane to support the pro-adhesive activity of CyPB. Altogether, these results demonstrate that the octasaccharide is likely to be the minimal length unit required for efficient binding of CyPB to cell surface HS and consequent HS-dependent cell responses.

You do not currently have access to this content.