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The Department of Biomedicine

BBB Seminar: Lena Kjellén

Mast cell development: role of enzymes involved in heparin biosynthesis

Lena Kjellén,
Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology, Uppsala University, Sweden, and Department of Biomedicine, University of Bergen

Ten years ago work in our lab and in that of Richard Stevens showed that the enzyme NDST2 was essential for heparin biosynthesis in mast cells (Humphries et al. (1999) Nature 400, 769-72; Forsberg et al. (1999) Nature 400, 773-76). The number of connective tissue type mast cells in the NDST2 knockout mice was reduced, and the cells contained less histamine and mast cell proteases. The work presented in the seminar will show that lack of the isoenzyme NDST1 has the opposite effects and that its absence instead is beneficial for in vitro differentiation of mast cells. The results are based on studies of both cultured terminally differentiated mast cells from adult mice as well as in vitro differentiated mast cells derived from mouse embryos and embryonic stem cells. A model of the GAGosome, a tentative Golgi enzyme complex involved in heparin biosynthesis, is used to explain the results.


Host: Marion Kusche-Gullberg, Department of Biomedicine