After tissue injury, fibroblast migration from the peri-wound collagenous stroma into the fibrin-laden wound is critical for granulation tissue formation and subsequent healing. Recently we found that fibroblast transmigration from a collagen matrix into a fibrin matrix required the presence of fibronectin. Several integrins-alpha 4 beta 1, alpha 5 beta 1, and alpha v beta 3-with known fibronectin binding affinity were necessary for this invasive migration. Here we examined another family of cell surface receptors: the proteoglycans. We found that dermatan sulfate was required for fibroblast migration into a fibronectin/fibrin gel. This conclusion was based on beta-xyloside inhibition of glycanation and specific glycosaminoglycan degradation. CD44, a cell surface receptor known to bind hyaluronan, not infrequently exists as a proteoglycan, decorated with various glycosaminoglycan chains including heparan sulfate and chondroitin sulfate, and as such can bind fibronectin. We found that CD44H, the non-spliced isoform of CD44, was necessary for fibroblast invasion into fibronectin/fibrin gels. Resting fibroblasts expressed mostly nonglycanated CD44H core protein, which became glycanated with chondroitin sulfate and dermatan sulfate, but not heparan sulfate, after a 24 h incubation with platelet-derived growth factor, the stimulus used in the migration assay. These results demonstrate that dermatan sulfate-CD44H proteoglycan is essential for fibroblast migration into fibrin clots and that platelet-derived growth factor, the stimulus for migration, induces the production of chondroitin-sulfate- and dermatan-sulfate-glycanated CD44H.
Keywords: Adult; Antigens, CD44; Cell Movement; Cells, Cultured; Dermatan Sulfate; Dermis; Extracellular Matrix; Fibrin; Fibroblasts; Fibronectins; Gels; Humans; Platelet-Derived Growth Factor; Proteochondroitin Sulfates; Wound Healing