During lymphocyte homing to secondary lymphoid organs and instances of inflammatory trafficking, the rolling of leukocytes on vascular endothelium is mediated by transient interactions between L-selectin on leukocytes and several carbohydrate-modified ligands on the endothelium. Most L-selectin ligands such as CD34 and podocalyxin present sulfated carbohydrate structures (6-sulfated sialyl Lewis x or 6-sulfo-sLex) as a recognition determinant within their heavily glycosylated mucin domains. We recently identified endoglycan as a new member of the CD34 family. We report here that endoglycan, like the two other members of this family (CD34 and podocalyxin) can function as a L-selectin ligand. However, endoglycan employs a different binding mechanism, interacting with L-selectin through sulfation on two tyrosine residues and O-linked sLex structures that are presented within its highly acidic amino-terminal region. Our analysis establishes striking parallels with PSGL-1, a leukocyte ligand that interacts with all three selectins, mediating leukocyte-endothelial, leukocyte-leukocyte, and platelet-leukocyte interactions. Since the distribution of endoglycan includes hematopoietic precursors and leukocyte subpopulations, in addition to endothelial cells, our findings suggest several potential settings for endoglycan-mediated adhesion events.
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