Thrombin Cleavage of Osteopontin Disrupts a Pro-chemotactic Sequence for Dendritic Cells, Which Is Compensated by the Release of Its Pro-chemotactic C-terminal Fragment
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Thrombin cleavage alters the function of osteopontin (OPN) by exposing an integrin binding site and releasing a chemotactic C-terminal fragment. Here, we examined thrombin cleavage of OPN in the context of dendritic cell (DC) migration to define its functional domains. Full-length OPN (OPN-FL), thrombin-cleaved N-terminal fragment (OPN-R), thrombin- and carboxypeptidase B2-double-cleaved N-terminal fragment (OPN-L), and C-terminal fragment (OPN-CTF) did not have intrinsic chemotactic activity, but all potentiated CCL21-induced DC migration. OPN-FL possessed the highest potency, whereas OPNRAA-FL had substantially less activity, indicating the importance of RGD. We identified a conserved (168)RSKSKKFRR(176) sequence on OPN-FL that spans the thrombin cleavage site, and it demonstrated potent pro-chemotactic effects on CCL21-induced DC migration. OPN-FLR168A had reduced activity, and the double mutant OPNRAA-FLR168A had even lower activity, indicating that these functional domains accounted for most of the pro-chemotactic activity of OPN-FL. OPN-CTF also possessed substantial pro-chemotactic activity, which was fully expressed upon thrombin cleavage and its release from the intact protein, because OPN-CTF was substantially more active than OPNRAA-FLR168A containing the OPN-CTF sequence within the intact protein. OPN-R and OPN-L possessed similar potency, indicating that the newly exposed C-terminal SVVYGLR sequence in OPN-R was not involved in the pro-chemotactic effect. OPN-FL and OPN-CTF did not directly bind to the CD44 standard form or CD44v6. In conclusion, thrombin cleavage of OPN disrupts a pro-chemotactic sequence in intact OPN, and its loss of pro-chemotactic activity is compensated by the release of OPN-CTF, which assumes a new conformation and possesses substantial activity in enhancing chemokine-induced migration of DCs.
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