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Application of Chondroitin Sulfate Derivatives for Understanding Axonal Guidance in the Nervous System during Development

Author(s): Hiroyuki Ichijo | Nobuo Sugiura | Koji Kimata

Journal: Polymers
ISSN 2073-4360

Volume: 5;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 254;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: proteoglycan | chondroitin sulfate | axon | growth cone | circuit formation

Neuronal axons and their growth cones recognize molecular guidance cues within the local environment, forming axonal pathways to produce precise neuronal networks during nervous system development. Chondroitin sulfates (CS), carbohydrate chains on chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans, exhibit great structural diversity and exert various influences on axons and growth cones as guidance cues or their modulators; however, the relationship between their structural diversity and function in axonal guidance is not well known. To uncover the roles of CS in axonal guidance, artificially modified hybrid molecules: CS derivatives of biotinylated CS and lipid-derivatized CS, were used. The experiments with biotinylated CS suggest that the growing axons act on their environment, modifying CS, and rendering it more favorable for their growth. The experiments with lipid-derivatized CS demonstrated that growth cones distinguish types of CS with different unit contents and are likely to discriminate the structural diversity of CS. The application of CS derivatives is useful in uncovering axon–environment interaction and structure–function relationship of CS directly.
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