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Research article2009Peer reviewedOpen access

Mast Cell Differentiation and Activation Is Closely Linked to Expression of Genes Coding for the Serglycin Proteoglycan Core Protein and a Distinct Set of Chondroitin Sulfate and Heparin Sulfotransferases

Duelli, Anette; Rönnberg, Elin; Waern, Ida; Ringvall, Maria; Kolset, SO; Pejler, Gunnar


Serglycin (SG) proteoglycan consists of a small core protein to which glycosaminoglycans of chondroitin sulfate or heparin type are attached. SG is crucial for maintaining mast cell (MC) granule homeostasis through promoting the storage of various basic granule constituents, where the degree of chondroitin sulfate/heparin sulfation is essential for optimal SG functionality. However, the regulation of the SG core protein expression and of the various chondroitin sulfate/heparin sulfotransferases during MC differentiation and activation are poorly understood. Here we addressed these issues and show that expression of the SG core protein, chondroitin 4-sulfotransferase (C4ST)-1, and GaINAc(4S)-6-O-sulfotransferase (GaINAc4S6ST) are closely linked to MC maturation. In contrast, the expression of chondroitin 6-sulfotransferase correlated negatively with MC maturation. The expression of N-deacetylase/N-sulfotransferase (NDST)-2, a key enzyme in heparin synthesis, also correlated strongly with MC maturation, whereas the expression of the NDST-I isoform was approximately equal at all stages of maturation. MC activation by either calcium ionophore or IgE ligation caused an up-regulated expression of the SG core protein, C4ST-1, and GaINAc4S6ST, accompanied by increased secretion of chondroitin sulfate as shown by biosynthetic labeling experiments. In contrast, NDST-2 was down-regulated after MC activation, suggesting that MC activation modulates the nature of the glycosaminoglycan chains attached to the SG core protein. Taken together, these data show that MC maturation is associated with the expression of a distinct signature of genes involved in SG proteoglycan synthesis, and that MC activation modulates their expression. The Journal of Immunology, 2009, 183: 7073-7083.

Published in

Journal of Immunology
2009, Volume: 183, number: 11, pages: 7073-7083