Two-state conformations in the hyaluronan-binding domain regulate CD44 adhesiveness under flow condition

Shinji Ogino, Noritaka Nishida, Ryo Umemoto, Miho Suzuki, Mitsuhiro Takeda, Hiroaki Terasawa, Joji Kitayama, Masanori Matsumoto, Haruko Hayasaka, Masayuki Miyasaka, Ichio Shimada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The hyaluronan (HA) receptor CD44 mediates cell adhesion in leukocyte trafficking and tumor metastasis. Our previous nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) studies revealed that the CD44 hyaluronan-binding domain (HABD) alters its conformation upon HA binding, from the ordered (O) to the partially disordered (PD) conformation. Here, we demonstrate that the HABD undergoes an equilibrium between the O and PD conformations, in either the presence or absence of HA, which explains the seemingly contradictory X-ray and NMR structures of the HA-bound HABD. An HABD mutant that exclusively adopts the PD conformation displayed a higher HA affinity than the wild-type. Rolling of the cells expressing the mutant CD44 was less efficient than those expressing the wild-type, due to the decreased tether frequency and the slow cellular off rate. Considering that the mutant CD44, devoid of the low-affinity state, exhibited impaired rolling, we conclude that the coexistence of the high- and low-affinity states of the HABD is essential for the CD44-mediated rolling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)649-656
Number of pages8
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2010
Externally publishedYes



ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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