Syndecans are single-pass transmembrane proteins on the cell surface that are involved in various cellular functions. Previously, we reported that both homo- and hetero-form of syndecan dimers affected their functionality. However, little is known about the structural role of the transmembrane domain of syndecan-3. A series of glutathione-S-transferase syndecan-3 proteins showed that syndecan-3 formed SDS-resistant dimers and oligomers. SDS-resistant oligomer formation was barely observed in the syndecan deletion mutants lacking the transmembrane domain. Interestingly, the presence of an alanine 397 residue in the transmembrane domain correlated with SDS-resistant oligomer, and its replacement by phenylalanine (AF mutant) significantly reduced SDS-resistant oligomer formation. Beside the AF mutant significantly reduced syndecan-3 mediated cellular processes such as cell adhesion, migration and neurite outgrowth of SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma. Furthermore, the alanine residue regulated hetero-oligomer formation of syndecan-3, and hetero-oligomer formation significantly reduced syndecan-3-mediated neurite outgrowth of SH-SY5Y cells. Taken together, all these data suggest that syndecan-3 has a specific feature of oligomerization by the transmembrane domain and this oligomerization tendency is crucial for the function of syndecan-3.
- Cell adhesion
- Transmembrane domain