Renal cells activate the platelet receptor CLEC-2 through podoplanin.
Christou CM., Pearce AC., Watson AA., Mistry AR., Pollitt AY., Fenton-May AE., Johnson LA., Jackson DG., Watson SP., O'Callaghan CA.
We have recently shown that the C-type lectin-like receptor, CLEC-2, is expressed on platelets and that it mediates powerful platelet aggregation by the snake venom toxin rhodocytin. In addition, we have provided indirect evidence for an endogenous ligand for CLEC-2 in renal cells expressing HIV-1. This putative ligand facilitates transmission of HIV through its incorporation into the viral envelope and binding to CLEC-2 on platelets. The aim of the present study was to identify the ligand on these cells which binds to CLEC-2 on platelets. Recombinant CLEC-2 exhibits specific binding to HEK-293T (human embryonic kidney) cells in which the HIV can be grown. Furthermore, HEK-293T cells activate both platelets and CLEC-2-transfected DT-40 B-cells. The transmembrane protein podoplanin was identified on HEK-293T cells and was demonstrated to mediate both binding of HEK-293T cells to CLEC-2 and HEK-293T cell activation of CLEC-2-transfected DT-40 B-cells. Podoplanin is expressed on renal cells (podocytes). Furthermore, a direct interaction between CLEC-2 and podoplanin was confirmed using surface plasmon resonance and was shown to be independent of glycosylation of CLEC-2. The interaction has an affinity of 24.5+/-3.7 microM. The present study identifies podoplanin as a ligand for CLEC-2 on renal cells.