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IUBMB Life. 2002 Oct;54(4):195-9.

Mammalian hyaluronan synthases.

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Institute for Molecular Science of Medicine, Aichi Medical University, Nagakute, Aichi 480-1195, Japan.


Three mammalian hyaluronan (HA) synthase genes, HAS1, HAS2, and HAS3, have been cloned and expressed, allowing the mechanisms for regulation of HA biosynthesis and function to be studied. The hyaluronan synthase (HAS) isoforms differ in kinetic characteristics and product size. The expression of each HAS isoform is controlled in a different fashion when mammalian cells are stimulated by various cytokines and the expression patterns are both spatially and temporally regulated during embryonic development. The existence of three different HAS isoforms with different characteristics implies that the broad range of biological and physiological roles performed by HA are regulated by controlling the activities and expression of the HAS isoforms. This review focuses on recent findings on the regulatory mechanisms for controlling HA biosynthesis and provides new insights into the enzymic basis for the functional regulation of HA.

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