An endoglycosidase is described in isolated liver plasma membranes that brings about a rapid and selective degradation of membrane-associated heparan sulphate, pre-labelled biosynthetically with Na2(35)SO4. The enzyme attacked mainly the polysaccharide chains of a hydrophobic membrane proteoglycan and it had little effect on a proteoglycan that could be displaced from the membranes with 1.0 M-NaCl. The highest activity was measured in the pH range 7.5-8.0, and the enzyme was almost completely inhibited below pH 5.5. Breakdown of susceptible polysaccharide chains was fast, being complete in 20-30 min. The major oligosaccharide fraction (Mr approx. 6000) produced by the enzyme was considerably smaller than the intact heparan sulphate chains. Enzyme activity was retained in membranes solubilized in 1% (v/v) Triton X-100. The high pH optimum and plasma-membrane association distinguish this enzyme from other heparan sulphate-degrading endoglycosidases that have acid pH optima and may be of lysosomal origin. A plasma-membrane endoglycosidase could modulate cellular interactions mediated by heparan sulphate, and/or release biologically active fragments of the polysaccharide from the cell periphery.
Heparan sulphate-degrading endoglycosidase in liver plasma membranes. 1988, 250 (3):719-26 Biochem. J.
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