Heparan sulfate fine structure and specificity of proteoglycan functions

Hiroshi Nakato, Koji Kimata

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

132 Scopus citations


Heparan sulfate chains have markedly heterogeneous structures in which distinct patterns of sulfation determine the binding specificity for ligand proteins. These "fine structures" of heparan sulfate are mainly produced by the regulated introduction of sulfate groups at the N-, 2-O-, 6-O-, and 3-O-positions of the sugar chain. Recent biochemical, histochemical, and genetic studies have demonstrated that different fine structures mediate distinct molecular recognition events to regulate a variety of cellular functions. In this review, we focus on the molecular basis of growth factor control by the sulfation status of heparan sulfate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)312-318
Number of pages7
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - General Subjects
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 19 2002


  • Drosophila
  • Fine structure
  • Heparan sulfate
  • Proteoglycan
  • Sulfatase
  • Sulfotransferase
  • Tracheal system


Dive into the research topics of 'Heparan sulfate fine structure and specificity of proteoglycan functions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this