Heparan sulfate (HS) is an unbranched chain of repetitive disaccharides, which specifically binds ligands when attached to the cell surface or secreted extracellularly. HS chains contain sulfated domains termed the HS fine structure, which gives HS specific binding affinities for extracellular ligands. HS 6-O-sulfotransferases (6-OST) catalyze the transfer of sulfate groups to the 6-O position of glucosamine residues of HS. We report here the characterization and developmental expression analysis of the 6-OST gene family in the zebrafish. The zebrafish 6-OST gene family consists of four conserved vertebrate orthologues, including a gene duplication specific to zebrafish. We examined the mRNA expression patterns in several tissues/organs throughout early zebrafish development, including early cleavage stages, eyes, somites, brain, internal organ primordial, and pectoral fin development. Members of the 6-OST gene family have spatially and temporally distinct restricted expression, suggesting in vivo functional differences exist between members of this family.
Copyright (c) 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.