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Heparan sulfate 6-O-sulfotransferase 1, a gene involved in extracellular sugar modifications, is mutated in patients with idiopathic hypogonadotrophic hypogonadism

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Richard Quinton


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Neuronal development is the result of a multitude of neural migrations, which require extensive cell-cell communication. These processes are modulated by extracellular matrix components, such as heparan sulfate (HS) polysaccharides. HS is molecularly complex as a result of nonrandom modifications of the sugar moieties, including sulfations in specific positions. We report here mutations in HS 6-O-sulfotransferase 1 (HS6ST1) in families with idiopathic hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (IHH). IHH manifests as incomplete or absent puberty and infertility as a result of defects in gonadotropin-releasing hormone neuron development or function. IHH-associated HS6ST1 mutations display reduced activity in vitro and in vivo, suggesting that HS6ST1 and the complex modifications of extracellular sugars are critical for normal development in humans. Genetic experiments in Caenorhabditis elegans reveal that HS cell-specifically regulates neural branching in vivo in concert with other IHH-associated genes, including kal-1, the FGF receptor, and FGF. These findings are consistent with a model in which KAL1 can act as a modulatory coligand with FGF to activate the FGF receptor in an HS-dependent manner.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Tornberg J, Sykiotis GP, Keefe K, Plummer L, Hoang X, Hall JE, Quinton R, Seminara SB, Hughes V, Van Vliet G, Van Uum S, Crowley WF, Habuchi H, Kimata K, Pitteloud N, Bulow HE

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Year: 2011

Volume: 108

Issue: 28

Pages: 11524-11529

Print publication date: 01/07/2011

ISSN (print): 0027-8424

ISSN (electronic): 1091-6490

Publisher: National Academy of Sciences


DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1102284108


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