SELPLG codes for PSGL-1, the high affinity counter-receptor for P-selectin on myeloid cells and stimulated T lymphocytes. As such, it plays a critical role in the tethering of these cells to activated platelets or endothelia expressing P-selectin.
The organization of the SELPLG gene closely resembles that of CD43 and the human platelet glycoprotein GpIb-alpha both of which have an intron in the 5-prime-noncoding region, a long second exon containing the complete coding region, and TATA-less promoters.
PSGL-1 is expressed on all white blood cells and plays an important role in the recruitment of white blood cells into inflamed tissue: White blood cells normally do not interact with the endothelium of blood vessels. However, inflammation causes the expression of cell adhesion molecules (CAM) such as P-selectin on the surface of the blood vessel wall. White blood cells present in flowing blood can interact with CAM. The first step in this interaction process is carried out by PSGL-1 interacting with P-selectin and/or E-selectin on endothelial cells and adherent platelets. This interaction results in "rolling" of the white blood cell on the endothelial cell surface followed by stable adhesion and transmigration of the white blood cell into the inflamed tissue.
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