Hyaluronan Synthase-1, -2, and -3
Hyaluronan (HA) is a high-molecular-weight linear polysaccharide composed of β-1,4-linked repeating disaccharides of glucuronic acid β-1,3-linked to N- acetylglucosamine. It is found in the extracellular matrices of most vertebrate tissues and in the capsules of certain bacterial pathogens. In vertebrates hyaluronan plays an important role not only in maintaining tissue architecture and function but also in modulating cell migration, cell adhesion, wound healing, and tumor invasion through its association with cell surface receptors. Despite considerable efforts, the HA biosynthesis mechanism had remained unclear owing to difficulty in the biochemical isolation of the active enzyme. Since the gene for bacterial HA synthase was first isolated from Streptococcus pyogenes several years ago (DeAngelis et al. 1993), rapid progress has been made to elucidate the enzyme properties and the reaction mechanisms. Three distinct yet highly conserved genes encoding mammalian HA synthases (HAS1, HAS2, HAS3) have been cloned (Itano and Kimata, 1996a,b; Shyjan et al. 1996; Spicer et al. 1996, 1997a,b); Watanabe and Yamaguchi 1996; Spicer and McDonald 1998), which has raised new questions about how they are different from each other.
KeywordsHyaluronic Acid Algal Virus Mouse Mammary Carcinoma Cell Modulate Cell Migration HASI Gene
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