Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Heparan sulfate adjusts functions of growth factor proteins

Date:
May 4, 2011
Source:
Boston University Medical Center
Summary:
When the human genome project produced a map of human genes, the number of genes in humans turned out to be relatively small, approximately the same number as in primitive nematode worms. The difference in complexity between human and primitive organisms results from the ways in which the functions of genes are elaborated, rather from just the number of genes. Researchers are showing how heparan sulfate, a carbohydrate that is expressed on the surface of all human cells, adjusts the functions of growth factor proteins.

When the human genome project produced a map of human genes, the number of genes in humans turned out to be relatively small, approximately the same number as in primitive nematode worms. The difference in complexity between human and primitive organisms results from the ways in which the functions of genes are elaborated, rather from just the number of genes. Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) researchers are showing how heparan sulfate, a carbohydrate that is expressed on the surface of all human cells, adjusts the functions of growth factor proteins.

These findings currently appear online in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Each cell responds to signals in the form of growth factor proteins that bind to cell surfaces. "The heparan sulfate on each cell helps the growth factor proteins connect with a growth factor receptor that is necessary for the signaling to occur," explained Joseph Zaia, PhD, an associate professor of Biochemistry at BUSM. Cells can change the way they respond to growth factors by altering the structure of the heparan sulfate on their surfaces.

Under the direction of Zaia, researchers from BUSM's department of Biochemistry have produced a new picture of the structure of the heparan sulfate and how it interacts with growth factor proteins. These new results demonstrate that growth factors home into regions of the heparan sulfate chains known as non-reducing ends. "Such binding of growth factors to the non-reducing ends of heparan sulfate chains may be a general means whereby normal cell growth is maintained. Conversely, a breakdown in such signaling may contribute to abnormal cell growth," he added.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Boston University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. H. Naimy, J. A. Buczek-Thomas, M. A. Nugent, N. Leymarie, J. Zaia. Highly sulfated non reducing end-derived heparan sulfate domains bind fibroblast growth factor-2 with high affinity and are enriched in biologically active fractions.. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2011; DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M110.204693

Cite This Page:

Boston University Medical Center. "Heparan sulfate adjusts functions of growth factor proteins." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 May 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110504162008.htm>.
Boston University Medical Center. (2011, May 4). Heparan sulfate adjusts functions of growth factor proteins. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110504162008.htm
Boston University Medical Center. "Heparan sulfate adjusts functions of growth factor proteins." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110504162008.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

AFP (Sep. 15, 2014) The European Commission met on Monday to coordinate aid that the EU can offer to African countries affected by the Ebola outbreak. Duration: 00:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite The Risks, Antibiotics Still Overprescribed For Kids

Despite The Risks, Antibiotics Still Overprescribed For Kids

Newsy (Sep. 15, 2014) A new study finds children are prescribed antibiotics twice as often as is necessary. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins