Cell Surface Heparan Sulfate Proteoglycans Mediate the Internalization of PDX-1 Protein

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Although islet transplantation is a promising therapeutic option for the treatment of type 1 diabetes, the shortage of suitable donor tissues remains a major obstacle. Pancreatic stem/progenitor cells residing within the ductal epithelium have been used to generate human islet-like clusters, but there is no efficient strategy for facilitating differentiation of progenitor cells into insulin-producing cells. A previous study reported that exogenous PDX-1 protein can be transduced into pancreatic stem/progenitor cells and induce differentiation of the cells into insulin-producing cells without requiring gene transfer technology. This study provides genetic and biochemical evidence that cell membrane heparan sulfate proteoglycans are required for extracellular PDX-1 internalization. Heparin, one of the soluble glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), inhibited PDX-1 internalization, while chondroitin sulfate A, B, and C caused only very limited inhibition. Cell treatment with heparinase-III demonstrated impaired PDX-1 internalization, while treatment with chondroitinase ABC, or with chondroitinase AC, was completely ineffective in inhibiting PDX-1 internalization. Different mutant cell lines originating from CHO K1 cells and defective in GAG biosynthesis were also examined. PDX-1 internalization was significantly reduced in both pgs A-745 mutant cells, which are defective in a enzyme that initiates GAG synthesis, and pgs B-618 cells, which produce about 15% of the amount of GAGs synthesized by wild-type cells. These data indicate that cell-surface heparan sulfate proteoglycans are required for PDX-1 internalization and that PDX-1 protein transduction could be a valuable strategy for inducing insulin expression in pancreatic stem/progenitor cells without requiring gene transfer technology.

Keywords: Heparan sulfate proteoglycan (HSP); Pancreatic and duodenal homeobox factor-1 (PDX-1); Protein transduction domain; Protein transduction technology

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/000000008783906892

Affiliations: 1: Fujita Health University, Second Department of Surgery, Aichi 470-1192, Japan, Department of Transplantation and Immunology, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto 606-8507, Japan 2: Fujita Health University, Second Department of Surgery, Aichi 470-1192, Japan, Baylor Institute for Immunology Research, Baylor Research Institute, Dallas, TX 75204, USA 3: Department of Advanced Medicine in Biotechnology and Robotics, Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, Nagoya 466-8550, Japan 4: Department of Surgery, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine and Dentistry, Okayama 700-8558, Japan

Publication date: January 1, 2008

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.
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