Mammalian Sulf1 RNA alternative splicing and its significance to tumour growth regulation
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SULF1/SULF2 enzymes regulate the activities of several growth factors by selective hydrolysis of 6-O-sulphates of heparan sulphate proteoglycan co-receptors, the sulfation of which is essential for signal transduction of some ligand/receptor interactions but not others. This study demonstrates the existence of SULF1 variants with a wide spectrum of splicing patterns in mammalian tumours. The levels and relative proportions of SULF1/SULF2 splice variants markedly vary in different tumours with a potential to regulate cell growth differentially. Although mammalian Sulf1 compared with Sulf2 gene generates a much larger number of splice variants, both enzymes follow generally similar distribution and signalling association trends in hepatocellular carcinomas.