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J Biol Chem. 1996 Sep 20;271(38):23395-9.

Functional cloning of the cDNA for a human hyaluronan synthase.

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LeukoSite Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142, USA.


Hyaluronan is a constituent of the extracellular matrix of connective tissue and is actively synthesized during wound healing and tissue repair to provide a framework for ingrowth of blood vessels and fibroblasts. Changes in the serum concentration of hyaluronan are associated with inflammatory and degenerative arthropathies such as rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, hyaluronan has been implicated as an important substrate for migration of adhesion of leukocytes during inflammation. A human hyaluronan synthase (HuHAS1) cDNA was isolated by a functional expression cloning approach. Transfection of CHO cells conferred hyaluronidase-sensitive adhesiveness of a mucosal T cell line via the lymphocyte hyaluronan receptor, CD44, as well as increased hyaluronan levels in the cultures of transfected cells. The HuHAS1 amino acid sequence shows considerable homology to the hasA gene product of Streptococcus pyogenes, a glycosaminoglycan synthetase from Xenopus laevis (DG42), and is the human homolog of a recently described murine hyaluronan synthase.

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