Extracellular matrix heparan sulfate modulates endothelial cell susceptibility to Staphylococcus aureus

W. K. Alston, D. A. Elliott, M. E. Epstein, V. B. Hatcher, M. Tang, F. D. Lowy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


The ability of extracellular matrix heparan sulfate to alter the susceptibility of human endothelial cells to S. aureus was investigated. Endothelial cells grown on extracellular matrix synthesized by S. aureus-infected endothelial cells were more susceptible to subsequent staphylococcal infection than endothelial cells grown on the extracellular matrix synthesized by untreated endothelial cells. Endothelial cells were more susceptible to S. aureus infection when 1) grown on heparitinase-treated extracellular matrix that removed heparan sulfate chains, 2) grown on extracellular matrix produced by chlorate-treated endothelial cells that reduced sulfation in the matrix heparan sulfate proteoglycans, 3) grown on heparan sulfate purified from extracellular matrix elaborated by infected endothelial cells, and 4) endothelial cells were chlorate-treated and therefore expressed desulfated cellular heparan sulfate proteoglycans. Extracellular matrix produced by S. aureus-infected endothelial cells contained heparan sulfate proteoglycans with reduced sulfation. The altered extracellular matrix with reduced sulfated heparan sulfate proteoglycans signalled the uninfected endothelial cells to produce under sulfated cellular heparan sulfate proteoglycans that increased S. aureus adherence to the endothelial cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)102-109
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 1997


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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