Keratan Sulfate: Biosynthesis, Structures, and Biological Functions

  • Kenji UchimuraEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1229)


Keratan sulfate is a glycosaminoglycan that has been investigated in the cornea and skeletal tissues for decades. Endoglycosidases and monoclonal antibodies specific for keratan sulfate have been developed. These materials have facilitated the analysis of keratan sulfate biosynthesis and structures. Likewise, they have expedited study of the biological roles of keratan sulfate in vitro and in vivo. It has been shown that keratan sulfate is also expressed in the central nervous system and functions as a regulator of neuronal regeneration/sprouting. Here, we describe methods to determine the enzymatic activity of GlcNAc6ST, which is involved in keratan sulfate biosynthesis, and to extract and prepare ocular keratan sulfate for a disaccharide composition analysis. Immunohistochemistry for an anti-keratan sulfate epitope in the brain is also described.

Key words

Keratan sulfate Sulfotransferase N-acetylglucosamine Galactose Immunohistochemistry Disaccharide analysis Enzymatic specificity 



Supported by Japanese Health and Labour Sciences Research Grants [H19-001 and H22-007], Grants-in-Aid from the Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture [22790303 and 24590349, and for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas] and in part by the Takeda Science Foundation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryNagoya University Graduate School of MedicineNagoyaJapan

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