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Curr Opin Struct Biol. 2007 Oct;17(5):536-45. Epub 2007 Oct 24.

Chondroitin/dermatan sulfate in the central nervous system.

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Frontier Research Center for Post-Genomic Science and Technology, Hokkaido University Graduate School of Life Science, Kita-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido 001-0021, Japan.


In the central nervous system (CNS) chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans, as one of the major barrier-forming molecules, influence cell migration patterns and axon pathfinding. By contrast, chondroitin sulfate side chains often form hybrid chains with dermatan sulfate and serve as a neural stem cell marker and neurogenic/neuritogenic molecules involved in neural stem cell proliferation. Hybrid chondroitin/dermatan sulfate chains are also involved in formation of the neural network by capturing and presenting heparin-binding growth factors like basic fibroblast growth factor, pleiotrophin, and hepatocyte growth factor to stem cells or neuronal cells. Research tools for structural glycobiology are emerging to perform a high-throughput screening of glycosaminoglycans for the binding to ligands, to decipher sulfation patterns of rare functional oligosaccharide sequences and to build structural models for the shape of such sulfated oligosaccharides.

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