PDGF Suppresses the Sulfation of CD44v and Potentiates CD44v-Mediated Binding of Colon Carcinoma Cells to Fibrin under Flow

Christina S. Alves, Konstantinos Konstantopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Fibrin(ogen) mediates sustained tumor cell adhesion and survival in the pulmonary vasculature, thereby facilitating the metastatic dissemination of tumor cells. CD44 is the major functional fibrin receptor on colon carcinoma cells. Growth factors, such as platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), induce post-translational protein modifications, which modulate ligand binding activity. In view of the roles of PDGF, fibrin(ogen) and CD44 in cancer metastasis, we aimed to delineate the effect of PDGF on CD44-fibrin recognition. By immunoprecipitating CD44 from PDGF-treated and untreated LS174T colon carcinoma cells, which express primarily CD44v, we demonstrate that PDGF enhances the adhesion of CD44v-coated beads to immobilized fibrin. Enzymatic inhibition studies coupled with flow-based adhesion assays and autoradiography reveal that PDGF augments the binding of CD44v to fibrin by significantly attenuating the extent of CD44 sulfation primarily on chondroitin and dermatan sulfate chains. Surface plasmon resonance assays confirm that PDGF enhances the affinity of CD44v-fibrin binding by markedly reducing its dissociation rate while modestly increasing the association rate. PDGF mildly reduces the affinity of CD44v-hyaluronan binding without affecting selectin-CD44v recognition. The latter is attributed to the fact that CD44v binds to selectins via sialofucosylated O-linked residues independent of heparan, dermatan and chondroitin sulfates. Interestingly, PDGF moderately reduces the sulfation of CD44s and CD44s-fibrin recognition. Collectively, these data offer a novel perspective into the mechanism by which PGDF regulates CD44-dependent binding of metastatic colon carcinoma cells to fibrin(ogen).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere41472
JournalPloS one
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 8 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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