Acute T-cell-driven inflammation requires the endoglycosidase heparanase-1 from multiple cell types


It has been accepted for decades that T lymphocytes and metastasising tumour cells traverse basement membranes (BM) by deploying a battery of degradative enzymes, particularly proteases. However, since many redundant proteases can solubilise BM it has been difficult to prove that proteases aid cell migration, particularly in vivo. Recent studies also suggest that other mechanisms allow BM passage of cells. To resolve this issue we exploited heparanase-1 (HPSE-1), the only endoglycosidase in mammals that digests heparan sulfate (HS), a major constituent of BM. Initially we examined the effect of HPSE-1 deficiency on a well-characterised adoptive transfer model of T-cell-mediated inflammation. We found that total elimination of HPSE-1 from this system resulted in a drastic reduction in tissue injury and loss of target HS. Subsequent studies showed that the source of HPSE-1 in the transferred T cells was predominantly activated CD4+ T cells. Based on bone marrow chimeras, two cellular sources of HPSE-1 were identified in T cell recipients, one being haematopoiesis dependent and the other radiation resistant. Collectively our findings unequivocally demonstrate that an acute T-cell-initiated inflammatory response is HPSE-1 dependent and is reliant on HPSE-1 from at least three different cell types.


heparanase-1 (HPSE-1), extracellular matrix, basement membrane, T cell migration, heparan sulfate destruction, autoimmunity

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