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J Biol Chem. 2008 Apr 18;283(16):10366-76. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M705948200. Epub 2008 Feb 14.

6-O-sulfation of heparan sulfate differentially regulates various fibroblast growth factor-dependent signalings in culture.

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


Heparan sulfate (HS) interacts with diverse heparin-binding growth factors and thereby regulates their bioactivities. These interactions depend on the structures characterized by the sulfation pattern and isomer of uronic acid residues. One of the biosynthetic modifications of HS, namely 6-O-sulfation, is catalyzed by three isoforms of HS6-O-sulfotransferase. We generated HS6ST-1- and/or HS6ST-2-deficient mice (6ST1-KO, 6ST2-KO, and double knock-out (dKO)) that exhibited different phenotypes. We examined the effects of HS 6-O-sulfation in heparin-binding growth factor signaling using fibroblasts derived from these mutant mice. Mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEF) prepared from E14.5 dKO mice produced HS with little 6-O-sulfate, whereas 2-O-sulfation in HS from dKO-MEF (dKO-HS) was increased by 1.9-fold. HS6-O-sulfotransferase activity in the dKO-MEF was hardly detected, and HS2-O-sulfotransferase activity was 1.5-fold higher than that in wild type (WT)-MEFs. The response of dKO-MEFs to fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) was distinct from that of WT-MEFs; in dKO-MEFs, FGF-4- and FGF-2-dependent signalings were reduced to approximately 30 and 60% of WT-MEFs, respectively, and FGF-1-dependent signaling was moderately reduced compared with that of WT-MEFs but only at the lower FGF-1 concentrations. Analysis with a surface plasmon resonance biosensor demonstrated that the apparent affinity of dKO-HS for FGF-4 was markedly reduced and was also reduced for FGF-1. In contrast, the affinity of dKO-HS for FGF-2 was 2.5-fold higher than that of HS from WT-MEFs. Thus, 6-O-sulfate in HS may regulate the signalings of some of HB-GFs, including FGFs, by inducing different interactions between ligands and their receptors.

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