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The lymphatic endothelial receptor LYVE-1 has been implicated in both uptake of hyaluronan (HA) from tissue matrix and in facilitating transit of leukocytes and tumor cells through lymphatic vessels based largely onin vitrostudies with recombinant receptor in transfected fibroblasts. Curiously, however, LYVE-1 in lymphatic endothelium displays little if any binding to HAin vitro, and this has led to the conclusion that the native receptor is functionally silenced, a feature that is difficult to reconcile with its proposedin vivofunctions. Nonetheless, as we reported recently, LYVE-1 can function as a receptor for HA-encapsulated Group A streptococci and mediate lymphatic dissemination in mice. Here we resolve these paradoxical findings and show that the capacity of LYVE-1 to bind HA is strictly dependent on avidity, demanding appropriate receptor self-association and/or HA multimerization. In particular, we demonstrate the prerequisite of a critical LYVE-1 threshold density and show that HA binding may be elicited in lymphatic endothelium by surface clustering with divalent LYVE-1 mAbs. In addition, we show that cross-linking of biotinylated HA in streptavidin multimers or supramolecular complexes with the inflammation-induced protein TSG-6 enables binding even in the absence of LYVE-1 cross-linking. Finally, we show that endogenous HA on the surface of macrophages can engage LYVE-1, facilitating their adhesion and transit across lymphatic endothelium. These results reveal LYVE-1 as a low affinity receptor tuned to discriminate between different HA configurations through avidity and establish a new mechanistic basis for the functions ascribed to LYVE-1 in matrix HA binding and leukocyte traffickingin vivo.

Original publication




Journal article


The Journal of Biological Chemistry


Elsevier BV

Publication Date





8014 - 8030


Hyaluronic Acid, Animals, Vesicular Transport Proteins, HEK293 Cells, Endothelium, Lymphatic, Protein Multimerization, Cell Adhesion, Cells, Cultured, Mice, Humans, Jurkat Cells, Cell Movement, Models, Molecular, Macrophages, Hyaluronan Receptors, Adult