Modulation of endothelial cell surface glycoconjugate expression by organ-derived biomatrices

Exp Cell Res. 1991 Feb;192(2):346-51. doi: 10.1016/0014-4827(91)90051-u.


Cell surface molecules play an important role in cellular communication, migration, and adherence. Here, we show the effect of organ-derived biomatrices on endothelial cell surface glycosylation. Five different lectins (with and without neuraminidase treatment) have been used as probes in an enzyme-linked lectin assay to quantitatively detect glycoconjugates on endothelial cells (BAEC) grown on tissue culture plastic or biomatrices isolated from bovine lung, liver, and kidney. BAEC generally exhibit strong binding of concanavalin A (Con A), Ricinus communis agglutinin I (RCA-I), wheat germ agglutinin (WGA), and soybean agglutinin, and peanut agglutinin after neuraminidase pretreatment of cells (Neu-SBA and Neu-PNA), while SBA and PNA consistently bind weakly to BAEC. BAEC grown on organ-derived biomatrices exhibit significantly altered binding intensities of Con A, RCA-I, WGA, and Neu-PNA: BAEC cultured on lung- or kidney-derived biomatrices express significantly stronger binding affinities for Con A and RCA-I than BAEC grown on liver-derived biomatrix or tissue culture plastic. In contrast, BAEC binding of WGA and PNA (after treatment of cells with neuraminidase) is significantly reduced when BAEC are grown on liver- or kidney-derived biomatrix. Quantitative lectin immunogold electron microscopy reveals consistently stronger lectin binding over nuclear regions compared to junctional regions between neighboring cells. These results indicate that extracellular matrix components regulate endothelial cell surface glycoconjugate expression, which determines cellular functions, e.g., preferential adhesion of lymphocytes or metastatic tumor cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Endothelium, Vascular / metabolism*
  • Extracellular Matrix / physiology*
  • Glycoconjugates / biosynthesis*
  • Glycosylation
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Lectins / metabolism
  • Microscopy, Immunoelectron
  • Organ Specificity
  • Receptors, Mitogen / analysis


  • Glycoconjugates
  • Lectins
  • Receptors, Mitogen