Interaction of hepatocyte growth factor with heparan sulfate. Elucidation of the major heparan sulfate structural determinants

M. Lyon, J. A. Deakin, K. Mizuno, T. Nakamura, J. T. Gallagher

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300 Citations (Scopus)


We have demonstrated by affinity chromatography that hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) binds strongly to heparan sulfate (HS). This substantiates previous suggestions that cell-surface heparan sulfate proteoglycans constitute the so-called low affinity cellular binding sites for HGF. Using a recombinant human HGF affinity column, we have analyzed the effects of various specific chemical and enzymatic modifications/depolymerizations of HS on its affinity in order to elucidate the polysaccharide structural determinants. Interaction is shown to be only slightly affected by digestion with heparinase I or III or by replacement of N-sulfates with N-acetyl groups. This suggests a specific role for sulfated domains containing nonsulfated IdceA residues, with only a small contribution from N-sulfates and IdceA(2-OSO3) residues. In addition, disaccharide analyses of various HGF-binding oligosaccharides indicate that affinity is more closely associated with 6-O-sulfation of GlcNSO3 residues than with sulfation at any other position. Although interaction can be demonstrated with heparinase III- resistant oligosaccharides as small as hexasaccharides, the highest affinity was found with oligosaccharides containing a minimum of 10-12 monosaccharides. The structural specificity of the HGF-HS interaction is thus shown to be radically different from that previously described for the basic fibroblast growth factor-HS interaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11216-11223
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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