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Science 293 (5535): 1663-1666

Copyright © 2001 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Regulation of Wnt Signaling and Embryo Patterning by an Extracellular Sulfatase

Gurtej K. Dhoot,1 Marcus K. Gustafsson,2 Xingbin Ai,2 Weitao Sun,2 David M. Standiford,2 Charles P. Emerson Jr.2*

The developmental signaling functions of cell surface heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) are dependent on their sulfation states. Here, we report the identification of QSulf1, the avian ortholog of an evolutionarily conserved protein family related to heparan-specific N-acetyl glucosamine sulfatases. QSulf1 expression is induced by Sonic hedgehog in myogenic somite progenitors in quail embryos and is required for the activation of MyoD, a Wnt-induced regulator of muscle specification. QSulf1 is localized on the cell surface and regulates heparan-dependent Wnt signaling in C2C12 myogenic progenitor cells through a mechanism that requires its catalytic activity, providing evidence that QSulf1 regulates Wnt signaling through desulfation of cell surface HSPGs.

1 Department of Basic Veterinary Sciences, The Royal Veterinary College, University of London, Royal College Street, London NW1 OTU, UK.
2 Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 1157 BRBII/III, 421 Curie Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6058, USA
*   To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: emersonc{at}

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