Heparin is a unique marker of progenitors in the glial cell lineage.
AffiliationCancer Research Campaign, Paterson Institute of Cancer Research, Christie Hospital, Wilmslow Road, Manchester M20 4BX, United Kingdom. email@example.com
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AbstractThe oligodendrocyte-type-2 astrocyte progenitor cells (precursors of oligodendrocytes and type-2 astrocytes) are an excellent system in which to study differentiation as they can be manipulated in vitro. Maintenance of oligodendrocyte-type-2 astrocyte progenitor cells requires basic fibroblast growth factor, a growth factor whose action normally depends on a heparan sulfate coreceptor. Biochemical analysis revealed a most surprising result: that the oligodendrocyte-type-2 astrocyte progenitors did not synthesize heparan sulfate, the near ubiquitous N-sulfated cell surface polysaccharide, but the chemically related heparin in a form that was almost completely N- and O-sulfated. The heparin was detected in the pericellular fraction of the cells and the culture medium. In contrast the differentiated glial subpopulations (oligodendrocytes and type-2 astrocytes) synthesized typical heparan sulfate but with distinctive fine structural features for each cell type. Thus heparin is a unique differentiation marker in the glial lineage. Previously heparin has been found only in a subset of mature mast cells called the connective tissue mast cells. Its presence within the developing nervous system on a precise population of progenitors may confer specific and essential recognition properties on those cells in relation to binding soluble growth and/or differentiation factors and the extracellular matrix.
CitationHeparin is a unique marker of progenitors in the glial cell lineage. 1999, 274 (36):25455-60 J. Biol. Chem.
JournalThe Journal of Biological Chemistry
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