The binding of hyaluronate to SV-3T3 cells was measured by incubating a suspension of cells (released from the substratum with EDTA) with 3H-labeled hyaluronate and then applying the suspension to glass fiber filters which retained the cells and the bound hyaluronate. The extent of binding was a function of both the concentration of labeled hyaluronate and the cell number. Most of the binding took place within the first 2 min of the incubation and was not influenced by the presence or absence of divalent cations. The binding of labeled hyaluronate to SV-3T3 cells could be prevented by the addition of an excess of unlabeled hyaluronate. High molecular weight preparations of hyaluronate were more effective in preventing binding than low molecular weight preparations. The binding of [3H]hyaluronate was inhibited by high concentrations of oligosaccharide fragments of hyaluronate consisting of six sugars or more, and by chondroitin. The sulfated glycosaminoglycans (chondroitin-4-sulfate, chondroitin-6-sulfate, dermatan sulfate, heparin, and heparan sulfate) had little or no effect on the binding. The labeled hyaluronate bound to the cells could be totally removed by incubating the cells with testicular hyaluronidase, streptomyces hyaluronidase, or trypsin, indicating that the hyaluronate-binding sites are located on the cell surface.

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