Author(s): Mann DM, Romm E, Migliorini M
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Abstract Lactoferrin is an iron-binding protein which is synthesized by mucosal epithelium and neutrophils and released by these cells in response to inflammatory stimuli. It promotes neutrophil aggregation and manifests iron-dependent and -independent antimicrobial properties in vitro. Since lactoferrin binds to glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) and sulfated polysaccharides can inhibit its clearance in vivo and in vitro, we sought to examine its interaction with the GAGs chondroitin sulfate and heparin. Amino-terminal sequencing of proteolytic fragments of human lactoferrin that were fractionated by GAG chromatography suggested that the amino-terminal 6 kDa of the secreted protein mediates its interaction with GAGs. Synthetic peptides were used to show that the first 33 residues of human lactoferrin can bind well to solid-phase or solution-phase GAGs. The first 33 residues bound fluoresceinamine-labeled heparin with an IC50 (611 nM) which approximated that of the intact protein (124 nM). In contrast, when the first six residues (GRRRRS) were removed from this peptide, it then bound poorly to heparin (IC50 = 49 microM). Our results suggest that the GRRRRS sequence at the amino terminus of human lactoferrin acts synergistically with an RKVR sequence at positions 28-31 to form the predominate functional GAG-binding site of human lactoferrin. Molecular modeling of the crystalline structure of lactoferrin supports a synergistic activity between these two sites since it shows that they juxtapose each other on the surface of the folded protein. Solid docking calculations indicate that they can form a cationic cradle as a binding site for chondroitin sulfate.
This article was published in J Biol Chem
and referenced in Journal of Cancer Science & Therapy