Identification of a novel heparin binding domain in RHAMM and evidence that it modifies HA mediated locomotion of ras‐transformed cells

B. Yang, C. L. Hall, B. L. Yang, R. C. Savani, E. A. Turley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


We have previously reported that the hyaluronan (HA) receptor RHAMM (Receptor for Mediated Motility) [Turley et al., 1991] and that HA stimulation of the motility of ras‐transformed fibroblasts is mediated via its interaction with RHAMM. Here we show that RHAMM also contains binding sites for heparin (HP) anbd that interaction of HP with these sites can regulates the locomotion of ras‐transformed fibroblasts. At low concentrations (0.01 mg/ml), HP inhibited HA‐induced locomotion of ras‐transformed cells in a manner independent of RHAMM. At higher, but still physioligical concentrations (0.1 mg/ml), HP alone stimulated cell locomotion and this stimulation appeared to be RHAMM‐dependent as it was blocked by anti‐RHAMM antibodies. Other related glycosaminogolycans such as chondroitin sulfate and dermatin sulfate had no effect on cell motility. In ligand blotting assays, GST‐RHAMM fusion protein was shown to bind biotin‐labelled HP and this binding was displaceable with unabelled HP. In similar lignad binding analyses conducted with truncations of RHAMM fusion protein, the binding region was found to be localizeed in the same 35 amino acid segment of RHAMM that contains the two HA binding domains. Synthetic peptides corresponding to these HA binding domains were retained on and bound effectively to an HP‐Sepharose affinity column. Fusion protein generated by linkage of these peptides to the non‐HP binding amino terminus of RHAMM conferred HP binding capacity to the genetically engineered proteins. Conversely, deletion of the HA binding domains of RHAMM resulted in fusion proteins devoid of HP binding activity. The relative affinities of RHAMM for HA and HP, as determined by competition and transblot assays as well as quantification of binding at various salt concentrations, indicated that RHAMM had lower affinity for HP than that for HA. These results demonstrate the existence of new HP binding motif that has biological relevance to locomotion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)455-468
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Cellular Biochemistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1994


  • glycosaminoglycan binding domains
  • heparin
  • hyaluronan
  • locomotion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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