Author(s): Etscheid M, Beer N, Kress JA, Seitz R, Dodt J
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Abstract Recently we identified a plasma serine protease with a high affinity to glycosaminoglycans like heparin or hyaluronic acid, termed hyaluronan-binding protease (HABP). Since glycosaminoglycans are found on cell surfaces and in the extracellular matrix a physiological role of this plasma protease in a pericellular environment was postulated. Here we studied the influence of HABP on the regulation of endothelial cell growth. We found that HABP efficiently prevented the basic fibroblast growth factor/epidermal growth factor (bFGF/EGF)-dependent proliferation of human umbilical vein endothelial cells. Proteolytic cleavage of adhesion molecules was found to be involved, but was not solely responsible for the anti-proliferative activity. Pre-treatment of growth factor-supplemented cell culture medium with HABP indicated that no direct contact between the active protease and cells was required for growth inhibition. In vitro studies revealed a growth factor-directed activity of HABP, resulting in complexation and partial hydrolysis and, thus, inactivation of basic fibroblast growth factor, a potent mitogen for endothelial cells. Heparin and heparan sulfate fully protected bFGF from complexation and cleavage by HABP, although these glycosaminoglycans are known to enhance the proteolytic activity of HABP. This finding suggested that free circulating bFGF rather than bFGF bound to heparan sulfate proteoglycans would be a physiologic substrate. In conclusion, down-regulation of bFGF-dependent endothelial cell growth represents an important mechanism through which HABP could control cell growth in physiologic or pathologic processes like angiogenesis, wound healing or tumor development.
This article was published in Eur J Cell Biol
and referenced in Advanced Techniques in Biology & Medicine