Adam, Elizabeth C., Holgate, Stephen T. and Lackie, Peter M.
Epithelial repair is inhibited by an ?1,6-fucose binding lectin
American Journal of Physiology. Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology, 292, (2), . (doi:10.1152/ajplung.00292.2006).
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The effective repair of damage to the airway epithelium is essential to maintain the ability to exclude airborne particulates and protect against potential pathogens. Carbohydrates on the cell surface have an important role in cell-cell and cell substrate interactions. Using a model of repair with airway epithelial-derived cells of the 16HBE 14o(-) cell line, we have examined the effect of the Aleuria aurantia lectin (AAL), which binds very selectively to ?(1,6)-linked fucose residues. Addition of unconjugated or FITC-labeled AAL reduced the rate of epithelial repair to approximately one-third of control values as measured by image analysis while cell viability was maintained. Pulse labeling with AAL-FITC for 30 min followed by incubation in AAL-free medium caused similar inhibition of repair but could be reversed by addition of fucose up to 7 h after AAL removal. By confocal microscopy, AAL binding was found to be on the apical, but not basolateral, surfaces of cells, and internalization of the labeled lectin was seen. Preincubation of the lectin with fucose prevented this effect. Ulex europeaus I lectin, which is also fucose specific, resulted in similar binding to the cells and internalization, but it did not affect the speed of the repair process. We conclude that ?(1,6)-fucose binding sites play an important role in epithelial repair. Better understanding of this process will provide a deeper insight into the crucial mechanisms of epithelial repair.
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