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Biochemistry. 1989 Oct 3;28(20):8100-7.

Modulation of cell surface heparan sulfate structure by growth of cells in the presence of chlorate.

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Department of Biological Chemistry and Structure, University of Health Sciences/Chicago Medical School, North Chicago, Illinois 60064.


Swiss mouse 3T3 cells, when grown in the presence of 5 mM chlorate, an inhibitor of PAPS synthesis, produce heparan sulfate glycosaminoglycan chains containing only about 8% of the sulfate normally present and which have lost the ability to bind to fibronectin. These undersulfated chains are sensitive to nitrous acid at pH 4.5, indicating that many glucosaminyl residues have unsubstituted amino groups. The iduronic acid content of the heparan sulfate produced in the presence of chlorate is reduced to less than 7% as compared to the 36% in that from untreated cells. The chlorate-treated cells do not demonstrate any alterations in their growth control. However, the spreading behavior of these cells is altered to a flat rounded morphology compared to the more typical fibroblastic appearance of the untreated cell. The sulfation of chondroitin chains is also inhibited, but at a lower chlorate concentration which does not alter growth control or the spreading ability of the cells. These data indicate that (a) 3T3 cell surface heparan sulfate proteoglycan is not involved in growth control but may be involved in cell spreading, (b) the use of chlorate should be a valuable method for the study of the biosynthesis and structure/function relationships of sulfated glycosaminoglycans, and (c) the temporal sequence of the heparan sulfate chain modification reactions predicted from results of studies with cell-free extracts also operates in the cell.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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