Extracellular sequestration and release of fibroblast growth factor: a regulatory mechanism?

Trends Biochem Sci. 1991 Jul;16(7):268-71. doi: 10.1016/0968-0004(91)90102-2.


Basic fibroblast growth factor, (bFGF), promotes the formation of new blood capillaries and is sequestered and protected by binding to heparan sulfate (HS), both on the cell surface and in the extracellular matrix. Release of HS-bound bFGF by heparin-like molecules and HS-degrading enzymes (i.e., heparanase) provides a novel mechanism for regulation of the growth of capillary blood vessels in normal and pathological situations. The extracellular matrix also serves as a storage depot for other growth factors and enzymes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Capillaries
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism*
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 / metabolism*
  • Glucuronidase*
  • Glycoside Hydrolases / metabolism
  • Heparin / analogs & derivatives
  • Heparin / metabolism
  • Proteoglycans / metabolism


  • Proteoglycans
  • heparin proteoglycan
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2
  • Heparin
  • Glycoside Hydrolases
  • heparanase
  • Glucuronidase