Keratan sulfate: an up-to-date review

Int J Biol Macromol. 2015 Jan;72:282-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2014.08.029. Epub 2014 Aug 29.


Keratan sulfate (KS) is a glycosaminoglycan (GAG) type consisted of a sulfated poly-N-acetyl lactosamine chain. Besides acting as a constitutive molecule of the extracellular matrices, this GAG also plays a role as a hydrating and signaling agent in cornea and cartilage tissues. Inasmuch, KS is widely explored in the pharmaceutical industry. This review will cover the major achievements described in the literature of 2010-2014 concerning this GAG. Discussion about KS' roles in physiopathological conditions, as target or therapeutic molecule in diseases, methods of analysis and detection as well as KS-related enzymes, metabolism and developmental biology is properly provided.

Keywords: Carbohydrate-based drug; Cartilage; Eye drop; Glycosaminoglycan; Inflammation; Keratan sulfate.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cartilage / chemistry
  • Cartilage / drug effects
  • Cornea / drug effects
  • Cornea / physiopathology
  • Extracellular Matrix / chemistry
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism
  • Glycosaminoglycans / chemistry
  • Glycosaminoglycans / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / drug therapy*
  • Inflammation / physiopathology
  • Keratan Sulfate / chemistry
  • Keratan Sulfate / therapeutic use*
  • Ophthalmic Solutions / chemistry
  • Ophthalmic Solutions / therapeutic use


  • Glycosaminoglycans
  • Ophthalmic Solutions
  • Keratan Sulfate