Heparan Sulfate Proteoglycan in Inflammation and Angiogenesis

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-16833-8_1


Heparan sulfate is a linear polysaccharide composed of glucosamine and uronic acid (glucuronic acid or iduronic acid) disaccharide
repeats with various types of sulfation modifications. More than 26 enzymes participate in the biosynthesis of heparan sulfate,
which includes two major steps of chain polymerization and chain modification. The chain modification steps proceed sequentially
but are incomplete, resulting in enormous structural diversity in mature heparan sulfate. In tissues, heparan sulfate covalently
attaches to core proteins to form heparan sulfate proteoglycans, and are abundant at the cell surface and in the extracellular
matrix. Studies have demonstrated that heparan sulfate interacts with growth factors, growth factor binding proteins, extracellular
proteases, protease inhibitors, chemokines, morphogens, and adhesive proteins to critically regulate cell functions under
both physiological and pathological conditions. In this chapter, I will review our current understanding of the cellular and
molecular mechanisms, and the structure–function relationship of heparan sulfate in the regulation of inflammation and angiogenesis,
with particular focus on the regulatory roles of heparan sulfate on the key inflammatory molecules, selectin and chemokine,
and on the vascular endothelial growth factor, the master proangiogenic factor of angiogenesis.

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