Heparin - A Century of Progress pp 159-176

Part of the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology book series (HEP, volume 207)

Heparin and Heparan Sulfate: Analyzing Structure and Microheterogeneity

  • Zachary Shriver
  • Ishan Capila
  • Ganesh Venkataraman
  • Ram Sasisekharan
Chapter

Abstract

The structural microheterogeneity of heparin and heparan sulfate is one of the major reasons for the multifunctionality exhibited by this class of molecules. In a physiological context, these molecules primarily exert their effects extracellularly by mediating key processes of cellular cross-talk and signaling leading to the modulation of a number of different biological activities including development, cell proliferation, and inflammation. This structural diversity is biosynthetically imprinted in a nontemplate-driven manner and may also be dynamically remodeled as cellular function changes. Understanding the structural information encoded in these molecules forms the basis for attempting to understand the complex biology they mediate. This chapter provides an overview of the origin of the structural microheterogeneity observed in heparin and heparan sulfate, and the orthogonal analytical methodologies that are required to help decipher this information.

Keywords

Heparan sulfate Heparin Microheterogeneity Biosynthesis Structural analysis Conformation Mass spectrometry Nuclear magnetic resonance Structure–function relationships. 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zachary Shriver
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Ishan Capila
    • 4
  • Ganesh Venkataraman
    • 4
  • Ram Sasisekharan
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.CambridgeUSA
  2. 2.Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer ResearchMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA
  3. 3.Department of Biological EngineeringMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA
  4. 4.Momenta Pharmaceuticals Inc.CambridgeUSA

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