Glypicans are a family of heparan sulfate proteoglycans that are bound to the cell surface by a glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol anchor. Six members of this family have been identified in mammals. In general, glypicans are highly expressed during development, and their expression pattern suggests that they are involved in morphogenesis. One member of this family, glypican-3, is mutated in the Simpson-Golabi-Behmel syndrome. This syndrome is characterized by overgrowth and various developmental abnormalities that indicate that glypican-3 inhibits proliferation and cell survival in the embryo. It has consequently been proposed that glypicans can regulate the activity of several growth factors that play a critical role in morphogenesis.