Na+/H+ Exchanger Regulatory Factor-1 Is a Hematopoietic Ligand for a Subset of the CD34 Family of Stem Cell Surface Proteins

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Abstract

CD34 and its relatives, podocalyxin and endoglycan, comprise a family of surface sialomucins expressed by hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells and vascular endothelia. Recent data suggest that they serve as either pro- or antiadhesion molecules depending on their cellular context and their post-translational modifications. In addition, their ability to function as blockers of adhesion may be further regulated by their subcellular localization in membrane microdomains via activation-dependent linkage with the actin cytoskeleton. To gain further insights into the function and regulation of CD34-type molecules, we sought to identify the intracellular ligands that govern their localization. Using both genetic and biochemical approaches, we have identified the Na+/H+ exchanger regulatory factor-1 (NHERF-1) as a selective ligand for podocalyxin and endoglycan but not for the closely related CD34. Furthermore, we show that NHERF-1 is expressed by all c-kit+ /lineage marker /Sca-1+ cells, which are known to express podocalyxin and have long-term repopulating abilities. Finally, we show that these proteins relocalize and colocalize in response to cytokine signaling. The results suggest that this cytosolic adaptor protein may be important for mobilization of CD34-type proteins in the plasma membrane and may thereby regulate their ability to block or enhance hematopoietic cell adhesion.

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