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 30, 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 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Aimed at reducing sexual assaults on college campuses, California has adopted a new law changing the standard of consent for sexual activity. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Researchers looked at 1,500 blood samples and determined people who developed pancreatic cancer had more branched chain amino acids. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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