Biochemical Journal

Research article

Lactoferrin binding to the rat asialoglycoprotein receptor requires the receptor's lectin properties

Douglas D. MCABEE, Xin JIANG, Kevin B. WALSH

Abstract

Lactoferrin binds to rat hepatic lectin 1 (RHL1), the major subunit of the asialoglycoprotein (ASGP) receptor, with high affinity, by a galactose-independent mechanism. To better understand the molecular basis of this novel interaction, we compared the binding of lactoferrin and asialo-orosomucoid (ASOR) to isolated rat hepatocytes and to purified ASGP receptors as a function of pH, Ca2+ and receptor acylation. Binding of 125I-lactoferrin and 125I-ASOR to isolated rat hepatocytes at 4 °C decreased sharply at pH < 6, following similar titration curves. Binding of 125I-lactoferrin and 125I-ASOR to hepatocytes was Ca2+-dependent. Binding increased progressively at ≥ 300 μM CaCl2, in the presence of 1 mM EDTA. Monensin treatment of hepatocytes, which causes hepatocytes to accumulate inactive ASGP receptors, reduced surface binding of 125I-lactoferrin and 125I-ASOR by 46 and 49%, respectively, with only a 16% loss of immunodetectable receptor protein from the cell surface. Finally, deacylation of purified ASGP receptors in vitro with 1 M hydroxylamine abolished receptor lectin activity as reflected by the loss of 125I-ASOR binding as well as the complete loss of specific 125I-lactoferrin binding. Treatment with 1 M Tris had no effect on binding of either ligand. We conclude from these data that galactose-independent lactoferrin binding to the ASGP receptor requires the receptor's carbohydrate-recognition domain to be in an active configuration. An active configuration is promoted by neutral pH and Ca2+, and also requires the receptor subunits to be acylated.

  • acylation
  • calcium
  • carbohydrate recognition domain
  • hepatocytes
  • receptor activity