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Heparins, Heparans Dermatans, and Chondroitins
A unique resource in the glycosaminoglycan lexicon
Marine organisms produce a rich variety of sulphated glycosaminoglycans with characteristic variations of sugar composition and sulphation patterns determined by the species of origin. The distinct molecular structures and biophysical properties of marine GAGS reflect the evolutionary adaptation and diversification of sulphated polysaccharides to complex and changing habitats. Some of the ancient properties of marine GAGS, which may have disappeared during terrestrial evolution, could offer valuable and unexpected insights in biomedical research.
We are working in collaboration with academic research institutes and with Glycomar in Oban, Scotland to put together a fascinating range of marine glycosaminoglycans that can be used in structure-function studies and tested in various applied biological systems, for example as biocompatible surface coatings in regenerative medicine and for supporting the growth and differentiation of embryonic and adult stem cells.
Marine GAGS are derived from organisms that have significant regenerative capacity. They may have interesting effects on the activities of many growth factors, morphogens etc (for example FGF, HGF/SF, VEGF, GDNF, Wg/Wnt) that are activated by Heparan Sulphate co-receptors.
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