Vesicles shed by U87-MG cells contain coxsackievirus and adenovirus receptor (CAR) protein that has been posttranslationally modified. Relative to full-length CAR, migration of the vesicle-associated soluble CAR antigen (CARd6) on SDS-polyacrylamide gels indicated a loss of approximately 6 kDa. HeLa and END-HHV6 cells also shed a similar vesicle-associated CAR protein. Vesicles shed by U87-MG cells following stimulation with calcium and A23187 contained CARd6 similar to that present in vesicles shed constitutively. RD cells transfected to express full-length CAR produced CARd6, but cells that expressed CAR with a truncated cytoplasmic domain produced no equivalent to CARd6. In U87-MG cells, calpain activity was required for release of CARd6 with shed vesicles, and accumulation of CARd6 in cells that rounded up and released from the plastic substrate in response to A23187 treatment was blocked by N-ethylmaleimide. These experiments show that CAR, posttranslationally modified in the cytoplasmic domain, can be released with vesicles shed by cells. Posttranslational modification of the CAR cytoplasmic domain occurs during cell rounding and release from the culture substrate. This modified, vesicle-associated CAR was the principal form of soluble CAR released by the cells.
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