Goger, B., Halden, Yvonne, Rek, Angelika, Mosl, Roland, Pye, David A., Gallagher, John T. and Kungl, Andreas J. (2002) Different Affinities of Glycosaminoglycan Oligosaccharides for Monomeric and Dimeric Interleukin-8: A Model for Chemokine Regulation at Inflammatory Sites. Biochemistry, 41 (5). pp. 1640-1646. ISSN 0006-2960

The binding of interleukin-8 (IL-8) to heparan sulfate (HS) proteoglycans on the surface of endothelial cells is crucial for the recruitment of neutrophils to an inflammatory site. Fluorescence anisotropy measurements yielded an IL-8 dimerization constant of 120 nM. The binding affinities, obtained by isothermal fluorescence titration, of size-defined heparin and HS oligosaccharides to the chemokine were found to depend on the oligomerization state of IL-8: high affinity was detected for monomeric and low affinity was detected for dimeric IL-8, referring to a self-regulatory mechanism for its chemoattractant effect. The highest affinity for monomeric IL-8 was detected for the HS octamer with a Kd < 5 nM whereas the dissociation constants of dimeric IL-8 were found in the medium micromolar range. No indication for increasing affinities for monomeric IL-8 with increasing oligosaccharide chain length was found. Instead, a periodic pattern was obtained for the dissociation constants of the GAG oligosaccharides with respect to chain length, referring to optimum and least optimum chain lengths for IL-8 binding. GAG disaccharides were identified to be the minimum length for chemokine binding. Conformational changes of the dimeric chemokine, determined using CD spectroscopy, were detected only for the IL-8/HS complexes and not for heparin, pointing to an HS-induced activation of the chemokine with respect to receptor binding. Thermal unfolding of IL-8 yielded a single transition at 56 C which was completely prevented by the presence of undigested HS or heparin, indicating structural stabilization, thereby prolonging the biological effect of the chemokine.