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Tenascin-C (TNC) is a complex glycoprotein of the extracellular matrix (ECM) involved in a plethora of (patho-)physiological processes, such as oncogenesis and inflammation. Since chemokines play an essential role in both disease processes, we have investigated here the binding of TNC to some of the key chemokines, namely CCL2, CCL26, CXCL8, CXCL10, and CXCL12. Thereby, a differential chemokine-TNC binding pattern was observed, with CCL26 exhibiting the highest and CCL2 the lowest affinity for TNC. Heparan sulfate (HS), another member of the ECM, proved to be a similarly high-affinity ligand of TNC, with a Kd value of 730 nM. Chemokines use glycosa-minoglycans such as HS as co-receptors to induce immune cell migration. Therefore, we assumed an influence of TNC on immune cell chemotaxis due to co-localization within the ECM. CCL26- and CCL2-induced mobilization experiments of eosinophils and monocytes, respectively, were thus performed in the presence and the absence of TNC. Pre-incubation of the immune cells with TNC resulted in a 3.5-fold increase of CCL26-induced eosinophil chemotaxis, whereas a 1.3-fold de-crease in chemotaxis was observed when monocytes were pre-incubated with CCL2. As both chemokines have similar HS binding but different TNC binding affinities, we speculate that TNC acts as an attenuator in monocyte and as an amplifier in eosinophil mobilization by impeding CCL2 from binding to HS on the one hand, and by reinforcing CCL26 to bind to HS on the other hand.

Original publication




Journal article


Int J Mol Sci

Publication Date





chemokines, circular dichroism, extracellular matrix, fluorescence, glycosaminoglycans, tenascin-C