Extracellular endosulfatase Sulf-2 harbors a chondroitin/dermatan sulfate chain that modulates its enzyme activity

Cell Rep. 2022 Mar 15;38(11):110516. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2022.110516.


Sulfs represent a class of unconventional sulfatases which provide an original post-synthetic regulatory mechanism for heparan sulfate polysaccharides and are involved in multiple physiopathological processes, including cancer. However, Sulfs remain poorly characterized enzymes, with major discrepancies regarding their in vivo functions. Here we show that human Sulf-2 (HSulf-2) harbors a chondroitin/dermatan sulfate glycosaminoglycan (GAG) chain, attached to the enzyme substrate-binding domain. We demonstrate that this GAG chain affects enzyme/substrate recognition and tunes HSulf-2 activity in vitro and in vivo. In addition, we show that mammalian hyaluronidase acts as a promoter of HSulf-2 activity by digesting its GAG chain. In conclusion, our results highlight HSulf-2 as a proteoglycan-related enzyme and its GAG chain as a critical non-catalytic modulator of the enzyme activity. These findings contribute to clarifying the conflicting data on the activities of the Sulfs.

Keywords: enzyme; glycosaminoglycan; post-translational modifications; proteoglycan; sulfatase.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dermatan Sulfate*
  • Heparitin Sulfate
  • Humans
  • Mammals / metabolism
  • Protein Binding
  • Sulfatases / metabolism
  • Sulfotransferases* / genetics
  • Sulfotransferases* / metabolism


  • Dermatan Sulfate
  • Heparitin Sulfate
  • Sulfotransferases
  • Sulfatases