Editors' ChoiceDevelopmental Biology

Heparan Sulfate in Brain Development

Science's STKE  11 Nov 2003:
Vol. 2003, Issue 208, pp. tw436
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2003.208.tw436

Heparan sulfate binds to a number of growth factors and morphogens and is highly expressed in the developing mammalian central nervous system (CNS). In order to elucidate heparan sulfate's role in brain development, Inatani et al. selectively knocked out heparan sulfate synthesis in the developing mouse CNS. Mutant mice exhibited malformations in specific regions of the brain that corresponded to disrupted distribution of fibroblast growth factor and decreased cell proliferation. Axon pathfinding in the brain and retina was also disrupted, pointing to additional regulatory functions of heparan sulfate.

M. Inatani, F. Irie, A. S. Plump, M. Tessier-Lavigne, Y. Yamaguchi, Mammalian brain morphogenesis and midline axon guidance require heparan sulfate. Science 302, 1044-1046 (2003). [Abstract] [Full Text]