Transmission of allostery through the lectin domain in selectin-mediated cell adhesion. Academic Article uri icon


  • The selectins are cell adhesion proteins that must resist applied forces to mediate leukocyte tethering and rolling along the endothelium and have 2 conformational states. Selectin-ligand bond dissociation increases only modestly with applied force, and exhibits catch bond behavior in a low-force regime where bond lifetimes counterintuitively increase with increasing force. Both allosteric and sliding-rebinding models have emerged to explain catch bonds. Here, we introduce a large residue into a cleft that opens within the lectin domain to stabilize the more extended, high-affinity selectin conformation. This mutation stabilizes the high-affinity state, but surprisingly makes rolling less stable. The position of the mutation in the lectin domain provides evidence for an allosteric pathway through the lectin domain, connecting changes at the lectin-EGF interface to the distal binding interface.

publication date

  • January 6, 2009