Background: The final structure of heparan sulfate chains is strictly regulated in vivo, though the biosynthesis is not guided by a template process. N-deacetylase/N-sulfotransferase (NDST) is the first modification enzyme in the HS biosynthetic pathway. The N-sulfo groups introduced by NDST are reportedly involved in determination of the susceptibility to subsequent processes catalyzed by C5-epimerse and 3-O-sulfotransferases. Understanding the substrate specificities of the four human NDST isoforms has become central to uncovering the regulatory mechanism of HS biosynthesis.
Methods: Highly-purified recombinant NDST-4 (rNDST-4) and a selective library of structurally-defined oligosaccharides were employed to determine the substrate specificity of rNDST-4.
Results: Full-length rNDST-4 lacks obvious N-deacetylase activity, and displays only N-sulfotransferase activity. Unlike NDST-1, NDST-4 did not show directional N-sulfotransferase activity while the N-deacetylase domain was inactive.
Conclusion and general significance: Individual NDST-4 could not effectively assume the key role in the distribution of N-S domains and N-Ac domains in HS biosynthesis in vivo.
Keywords: Biosynthesis; Catalytic mode; Heparan sulfate; N-deacetylase/N-sulfotransferase; Regulatory mechanism.
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