Biochemistry, Department of


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Published in The Journal of Biological Chemistry 283 (2008), pp. 15047–15055; doi: 10.1074/jbc.M709921200 Copyright © 2008 The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc. Used by permission.


The hyaluronan (HA) receptor for endocytosis (HARE) mediates the endocytotic clearance of HA and other glycosaminoglycans from lymph and blood. Two isoforms of human HARE, 315- and 190-kDa, are highly expressed in sinusoidal endothelial cells of liver, lymph node, and spleen; HARE is also in specialized cells in the eye, heart, brain, and kidney. Here we determined whether HA binding to HARE initiates intracellular signaling in Flp-In 293 cells stably expressing either the 315- and 190-kDa HARE or the 190-kDa HARE alone. HARE was co-immunoprecipitated with extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1 and 2 (ERK1/2), c-Jun N-terminal protein kinase (JNK), and p38 members of the mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling cascade. ERK phosphorylation increased in a dose- and time-dependent manner when HA was added to cells expressing full-length or 190-kDa HARE, but not cells with vector-only or a HARE(ΔLink) construct with greatly decreased (~90%) HA uptake. HA did not induce phosphorylation of JNK or p38. A maximum increase in phospho-ERK1/2 occurred within 30 min at 5 μg/ml HA, and the response was dampened at >20 μg/ml HA. HA binding did not increase the level of HARE-ERK complexes, but did increase HARE phosphorylation. These findings demonstrate a novel functional response, when HARE binds HA, that leads to activation of ERK1/2, important mediators of intracellular signal transduction.