The principal neuronal gD-type 3-O-sulfotransferases and their products in central and peripheral nervous system tissues

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Matrix biology : journal of the International Society for Matrix Biology








Amino Acid Sequence; Animals; Base Sequence; Brain; CHO Cells; Central Nervous System; Cricetinae; Cricetulus; Female; Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic; Heparitin Sulfate; Herpesvirus 1, Human; Humans; In Situ Hybridization; Isoenzymes; Male; Mice; Mice, Inbred C57BL; Molecular Sequence Data; Neurons; Peripheral Nervous System; Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction; Substrate Specificity; Sulfotransferases; Virus Internalization


Within the nervous system, heparan sulfate (HS) of the cell surface and extracellular matrix influences developmental, physiologic and pathologic processes. HS is a functionally diverse polysaccharide that employs motifs of sulfate groups to selectively bind and modulate various effector proteins. Specific HS activities are modulated by 3-O-sulfated glucosamine residues, which are generated by a family of seven 3-O-sulfotransferases (3-OSTs). Most isoforms we herein designate as gD-type 3-OSTs because they generate HS(gD+), 3-O-sulfated motifs that bind the gD envelope protein of herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) and thereby mediate viral cellular entry. Certain gD-type isoforms are anticipated to modulate neurobiologic events because a Drosophila gD-type 3-OST is essential for a conserved neurogenic signaling pathway regulated by Notch. Information about 3-OST isoforms expressed in the nervous system of mammals is incomplete. Here, we identify the 3-OST isoforms having properties compatible with their participation in neurobiologic events. We show that 3-OST-2 and 3-OST-4 are principal isoforms of brain. We find these are gD-type enzymes, as they produce products similar to a prototypical gD-type isoform, and they can modify HS to generate receptors for HSV-1 entry into cells. Therefore, 3-OST-2 and 3-OST-4 catalyze modifications similar or identical to those made by the Drosophila gD-type 3-OST that has a role in regulating Notch signaling. We also find that 3-OST-2 and 3-OST-4 are the predominant isoforms expressed in neurons of the trigeminal ganglion, and 3-OST-2/4-type 3-O-sulfated residues occur in this ganglion and in select brain regions. Thus, 3-OST-2 and 3-OST-4 are the major neural gD-type 3-OSTs, and so are prime candidates for participating in HS-dependent neurobiologic events.


This is an open access PubMed Central article.

Peer Reviewed


Open Access


Find in your library