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J Cell Biol. 2006 Jul 31;174(3):323-7.

Interactions between heparan sulfate and proteins: the concept of specificity.

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  • 1Rudbeck Laboratory, Department of Genetics and Pathology, Biomedical Center, Uppsala University, SE-75185 Uppsala, Sweden.


Proteoglycan (PG) coreceptors carry heparan sulfate (HS) chains that mediate interactions with growth factors, morphogens, and receptors. Thus, PGs modulate fundamental processes such as cell survival, division, adhesion, migration, and differentiation. This review summarizes recent biochemical and genetic information that sheds new light on the nature of HS-protein binding. Unexpectedly, many interactions appear to depend more on the overall organization of HS domains than on their fine structure.

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