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Panminerva Medica 2008 June;50(2):177-83

Copyright © 2008 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

lingua: Inglese

Sulfated polysaccharides and immune response: promoter or inhibitor?

Chen D. 1, Wu X. Z. 2, Wen Z. Y. 1

1 Department of Biophysics Medical College of Peking University, Beijing, China 2 Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital, Tianjin, China


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Sulfated polysaccharides, which frequently connect to core protein, are expressed not only on cell surface but also throughout the extracellular matrix. Besides providing structural integrity of cells, sulfated polysaccharides interact with a variety of sulfated polysaccharides-binding proteins, such as growth factors, cytokines, chemokines and proteases. Sulfated polysaccharides play two-edged roles, inhibitor and promoter, in immune response. Some sulfated polysaccharides act as the immunosuppressor by blocking inflammatory signal transduction induced by proinflammatory cytokines, suppressing the activation of complement and inhibiting the process that leukocytes adhere to and pass through endothelium. On the contrary, the interaction between immune cells and sulfated polysaccharides produced by bacteria, endothelial cells and immune cells initiate the occurrence of immune response. It promotes the processes of recognizing and arresting antigen, migrating transendothelium, moving into and out of immune organ and enhancing the proliferation of lymphocyte. The structure of sulfated polysaccharides, such as molecular weight and sulfated sites heterogeneity, especially the degree of disaccharide sulfation, position of the sulfate moiety and organization of sulfated domains, may play critical role in their controversial effects. As a consequence, the interaction between sulfated polysaccharides and sulfated polysaccharide-binding proteins may be changed by modifying the structure of sulfated polysaccharides chains. The administration of drug targeting sulfated polysaccharide-protein interaction may be useful in treating inflammatory related diseases.

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