Homophilic adhesion of human CEACAM1 involves N-terminal domain interactions: Structural analysis of the binding site

Suzanne M. Watt, Ana M. Teixeira, Guang Qian Zhou, Regis Doyonnas, Youyi Zhang, Fritz Grunert, Richard S. Blumberg, Motomu Kuroki, Keith M. Skubitz, Paul A. Bates

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CEACAM1 on leukocytic, endothelial, and epithelial cells functions in homophilic adhesion, tumor suppression, regulating cell adhesion and proliferation, and in heterophilic adhesion as a receptor for E-selectin and Neisseria meningiditis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Haemophilus influenzae, and murine coronaviruses. The 8 transmembrane isoforms of human CEACAM1 possess an extracellular N-terminal IgV domain, followed by variable numbers of IgC2 domains. To establish which key amino acids contribute specifically to CEACAM1 homophilic adhesion, exposed amino acids in the N-terminal domain of a soluble form of CEACAM1 were subjected to mutagenesis. Analyses of mutant proteins with conformationally dependent antibodies indicated that most mutations did not substantially affect the structural integrity of CEACAM1. Nevertheless, decreased adhesion was observed for the single mutants V39A or D40A (single-letter amino acid codes) in the CC′ loop and for the triple mutants located in the GFCC′C″ face of the N-terminal domain. Interestingly, whereas single mutations in R64 or D82 that are predicted to form a salt bridge between the base of the D and F β strands close to the critical V39 and D40 residues also abolish adhesion, an amino acid swap (R64D and D82R), which maintains the salt bridge was without significant effect. These studies indicate that the CC′ loop plays a crucial role in the homophilic adhesion of CEACAM1. They further predict that specific hydrophobic amino acid residues on the nonglycosylated GFCC′C″ face of CEACAM1 N-terminal domain are not only involved in heterophilic interactions with Opa proteins and H influenzae, but are also critical for protein-protein interactions between 2 CEACAM1 molecules on opposing cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1469-1479
Number of pages11
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2001

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