PloS one

Functional relevance of protein glycosylation to the pro-inflammatory effects of extracellular matrix metalloproteinase inducer (EMMPRIN) on monocytes/macrophages.

PMID 25658763


Extracellular matrix metalloproteinase inducer (EMMPRIN) is an important pro-inflammatory protein involved in the cellular functions of monocytes/macrophages. We have hypothesized that high-level heterogeneousness of protein glycosylation of EMMPRIN may have functional relevance to its biological effects and affect the inflammatory activity of monocytes/macrophages. The glycosylation patterns of EMMPRIN expressed by monocytes/macrophages (THP-1 cells) in response to different extracellular stimuli were observed, and the structures of different glycosylation forms were identified. After the purification of highly- and less-glycosylated proteins respectively, the impacts of different glycosylation forms on the pro-inflammatory effects of EMMPRIN were examined in various aspects, such as cell adhesion to endothelial cells, cell migrations, cytokine expression, and activation of inflammatory signalling pathway. 1) It was mainly the highly-glycosylated form of EMMPRIN (HG-EMMPRIN) that increased after being exposed to inflammatory signals (PMA and H2O2). 2) Glycosylation of EMMPRIN in monocytes/macrophages led to N-linked-glycans being added to the protein, with the HG form containing complex-type glycans and the less-glycosylated form (LG) the simple type. 3) Only the HG-EMMPRIN but not the LG-EMMPRIN exhibited pro-inflammatory effects and stimulated inflammatory activities of the monocytes/macrophages (i.e., activation of ERK1/2 and NF-κB pathway, enhanced monocyte-endothelium adhesion, cell migration and matrix metalloproteinase -9 expression). Post-transcriptional glycosylation represents an important mechanism that determines the biological effects of EMMPRIN in monocytes/macrophages. Glycosylation of EMMPRIN may serve as a potential target for regulating the inflammatory activities of monocytes/macrophages.