alexa The heparanome--the enigma of encoding and decoding heparan sulfate sulfation.
Bioinformatics & Systems Biology

Bioinformatics & Systems Biology

Journal of Glycomics & Lipidomics

Author(s): Lamanna WC, Kalus I, Padva M, Baldwin RJ, Merry CL,

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Abstract Heparan sulfate (HS) is a cell surface carbohydrate polymer modified with sulfate moieties whose highly ordered composition is central to directing specific cell signaling events. The ability of the cell to generate these information rich glycans with such specificity has opened up a new field of "heparanomics" which seeks to understand the systems involved in generating these cell type and developmental stage specific HS sulfation patterns. Unlike other instances where biological information is encrypted as linear sequences in molecules such as DNA, HS sulfation patterns are generated through a non-template driven process. Thus, deciphering the sulfation code and the dynamic nature of its generation has posed a new challenge to system biologists. The recent discovery of two sulfatases, Sulf1 and Sulf2, with the unique ability to edit sulfation patterns at the cell surface, has opened up a new dimension as to how we understand the regulation of HS sulfation patterning and pattern-dependent cell signaling events. This review will focus on the functional relationship between HS sulfation patterning and biological processes. Special attention will be given to Sulf1 and Sulf2 and how these key editing enzymes might act in concert with the HS biosynthetic enzymes to generate and regulate specific HS sulfation patterns in vivo. We will further explore the use of knock out mice as biological models for understanding the dynamic systems involved in generating HS sulfation patterns and their biological relevance. A brief overview of new technologies and innovations summarizes advances in the systems biology field for understanding non-template molecular networks and their influence on the "heparanome". This article was published in J Biotechnol and referenced in Journal of Glycomics & Lipidomics

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