#Platelet Endothelial Cell Adhesion Molecule 1 (PECAM-1) is a major component of the endothelial cell intercellular junction. Previous studies have shown that PECAM-1 homophilic interactions, mediated by amino-terminal immunoglobulin homology domain 1, contribute to maintenance of the vascular permeability barrier and to its re-establishment following inflammatory or thrombotic insult. PECAM-1 glycans account for ∼30% of its molecular mass, and the newly solved crystal structure of human PECAM-1 immunoglobulin homology domain 1 reveals that a glycan emanating from the asparagine residue at position 25 (Asn-25) is located within the trans homophilic-binding interface, suggesting a role for an Asn-25-associated glycan in PECAM-1 homophilic interactions. In support of this possibility, unbiased molecular docking studies revealed that negatively charged α2,3 sialic acid moieties bind tightly to a groove within the PECAM-1 homophilic interface in an orientation that favors the formation of an electrostatic bridge with positively charged Lys-89, mutation of which has been shown previously to disrupt PECAM-1-mediated homophilic binding.
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