|2000_Matrix Bio_Lin.pdf||167 KB|
Date Published:2000 Aug
Heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) are abundant molecules associated with the cell surface and extracellular matrix, and consist of a protein core to which heparan sulfate (HS) glycosaminoglycan (GAG) chains are attached. Although these molecules have been the focus of intense biochemical studies in vitro, their biological functions in vivo were unclear until recently. We have undertaken an in vivo functional study of HSPGs in Drosophila. Our studies, as well as others, demonstrate the critical roles of HSPGs in several major signaling pathways, including ibroblast growth factor (FGF), Wnt, Hedgehog (Hh) and TGF-beta. Our results also suggest that specific HS GAG chain modifications, as well as specific HSPG protein cores, are involved in specific signaling pathways.