Regulation of cell shape and adhesion by CD34

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We previously reported that expression of CD43/leukosialin induces cell rounding and microvillus formation via inhibition of cell adhesion. Here, we found that CD34, a cell surface sialomucin and marker for hematopoietic progenitor cells, also inhibited cell adhesion and induced cell rounding and microvillus formation. Forced expression of CD34-induced cell rounding, microvillus formation, and phosphorylation of ezrin/radixin/moesin (ERM) proteins in HEK293T cells, while inhibiting integrin-mediated cell re-attachment. Furthermore, CD34+ blood cells and KG-1 cells, which express endogenous CD34 on their surface, were spherical in shape, surrounded by microvilli, and non-adherent to substrata. In addition, cleavage of O-sialomucin augmented integrin-mediated cell adhesion of KG-1 cells. These results suggest the involvement of CD34 in the inhibition of integrin-mediated cell adhesion and formation of the cell surface structure. The inhibitory function of CD34 in cell adhesion may affect cell shape organization via phosphorylation of ERM proteins. Cellular structures such as the spherical shape and microvilli of CD34+ cells may also contribute to regulation of cell adhesion.

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