P-selectin glycoprotein ligand-1 (PSGL-1) is a high-affinity counterreceptor for P-selectin on myeloid cells and activated T-cells. In addition, PSGL-1 can serve, both in vitro and in vivo, as an E- selectin ligand. Appropriate glycosylation of PSGL-1 is crucial for binding to P-selectin. Functional PSGL-1 is known to bear sialyl lewis X (SLex) or a closely related oligosaccharide. In this study, we show that Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells expressing PSGL-1 and fucosyltransferase show a dramatic increase in binding to P-selectin when transfected with “core2” transferase, the enzyme that initiates branching of O-linked glycans. Moreover, only PSGL-1 from core2 transfectant CHO cells can be affinity-captured with P-selectin, suggesting that branched O-linked glycans are required for high-affinity binding to P-selectin. Analysis of PSGL-1-derived O-linked oligosaccharides produced in core2 transfected cells shows the presence of more elaborated glycans. Interestingly, transfection of core2 in these cells does not alter binding to E-selectin.

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