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Perspect Dev Neurobiol. 1996;3(4):347-58.

The glypican family of heparan sulfate proteoglycans: major cell-surface proteoglycans of the developing nervous system.

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Department of Developmental and Cell Biology, University of California, Irvine 92717-2275, USA.


The glypican family of glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored heparan sulfate proteoglycans comprises four vertebrate members, glypican, cerebroglycan, OCI-5, and K-glypican, and the Drosophila protein, daily. These molecules share highly conserved protein structural features that sharply distinguish them from the syndecans, the other major class of cell surface heparan sulfate proteoglycans. All members of the glypican family are expressed in the developing nervous system, with one member (cerebroglycan) being restricted to that tissue. In the developing rodent brain, glypican and cerebroglycan--which appear to be the most abundant family members in that tissue--are expressed mainly by neurons, and both are strongly localized to axons. In the case of cerebroglycan, expression is limited to axons at or about the time they are extending toward their targets. Although the functions of the vertebrate members of this family are not known, in Drosophila, the effects of mutations in the daily gene suggest a role for members of the glypican family in regulating cell cycle progression during the transition of neural cells from proliferation to neuronal differentiation. It is likely that proteoglycans of the glypican family also play other important roles in neural development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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