Homodimerization of the lymph vessel endothelial receptor LYVE-1 through a redox-labile disulfide is critical for hyaluronan binding in lymphatic endothelium

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • External authors:
  • Suneale Banerji
  • William Lawrance
  • Clive Metcalfe
  • David C. Briggs
  • Akira Yamauchi
  • Omer Dushek
  • P. Anton Van Der Merwe
  • David G. Jackson


The lymphatic vessel endothelial receptor LYVE-1 is implicated in the uptake of hyaluronan (HA) and trafficking of leukocytes to draining lymph nodes. Yet LYVE-1 has only weak affinity for hyaluronan and depends on receptor clustering and higher order ligand organization for durable binding in lymphatic endothelium. An unusual feature of LYVE-1 not found in other HA receptors is the potential to form disulfide-linked homodimers. However, their influence on function has not been investigated. Here we show LYVE-1 homodimers are the predominant configuration in lymphatic endothelium in vitro and in vivo, and formation solely requires the unpaired cysteine residue Cys-201 within the membrane-proximal domain, yielding a 15-fold higher HA binding affinity and an ∼67-fold slower off-rate than the monomer. Moreover, we show non-dimerizing LYVE-1 mutants fail to bind HA even when expressed at high densities in lymphatic endothelial cells or artificially cross-linked with antibody. Consistent with these findings, small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) indicates the Cys-201 interchain disulfide forms a hinge that maintains the homodimer in an "open scissors" conformation, likely allowing arrangement of the two HA binding domains for mutual engagement with ligand. Finally, we demonstrate the Cys-201 interchain disulfide is highly labile, and selective reduction with TCEP-HCl disrupts LYVE-1 homodimers, ablating HA binding. These findings reveal binding is dependent not just on clustering but also on the biochemical properties of LYVE-1 homodimers. They also mark LYVE-1 as the first Link protein superfamily member requiring covalent homodimerization for function and suggest the interchain disulfide acts as a redox switch in vivo.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25004-25018
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number48
StatePublished - 25 Nov 2016