Biosynthesis and processing of the cell adhesion molecule PECAM-1 includes production of a soluble form
Journal of Biological Chemistry
PECAM-1 (CD31) is a 130-kDa glycoprotein found on platelets, endothelial cells, granulocytes, and monocytes, as well as on certain myelomonocytic cell lines. Recent studies have shown that PECAM-1 may be involved in activation of leukocyte integrins and may also be involved in adhesive interactions of circulating leukocytes and the vessel wall. In spite of the important functional role that PECAM-1 plays in these processes, little is known about the biosynthesis, processing, and turnover of
... and turnover of PECAM-1 on the cell surface. We have studied the biosynthesis of PECAM-1 in the promonocytic cell line U937, and in endothelial cells, by pulse-chase labeling and immunoprecipitation. PECAM-1 was synthesized as a 110-kDa precursor form, which was processed into the 130-kDa mature form within 1-3 h, during which time it began to move to the cell surface. The protein disappeared from the cell surface in both cell types about 48 h after labeling. A soluble form of PECAM-1, which is 5-10 kDa smaller than cell-associated PECAM-1 and contains the cytoplasmic tail, was observed in the culture media of HUVECs and phorbol ester-treated U937 cells. This form of soluble PECAM-1 is encoded by an alternatively spliced mRNA from which the exon containing the transmembrane domain has been removed. Soluble PECAM-1 was also detected in normal human plasma at levels of 10-25 ng/ml. Two isoforms of plasma PECAM-1, which differed in the presence of the cytoplasmic tail, were observed by Western blot analysis. In parallel with soluble forms of other cell adhesion molecules, soluble PECAM-1 may play a role in modulating the inflammatory response.