The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 50: 705 - 708 (2006)

Vol 50, Issue 8

N-acetylgalactosamine 4-sulfate 6-O-sulfotransferase expression during early mouse embryonic development

Developmental Expression Pattern | Published: 30 November -0001

Ana-Marisa Salgueiro1,2, Mário Filipe1 and José-António Belo1,2,*

1Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Oeiras and 2Centro de Biomedicina Molecular e Estrutural, Universidade do Algarve, Faro Portugal


N-acetylgalactosamine 4-sulfate 6-O-sulfotransferase (GalNAc4S-6ST) is an enzyme which is known to help build up the GlcAbeta1-3GalNAc(4,6-bisSO4) unit of chondroitin sulfate E (CS-E). This enzymatic activity has been reported in squid cartilage and in human serum, but has never been reported as an enzyme required during early mouse development. On the other hand, CS-E has been shown to bind with strong affinity to Midkine (MK). The latter is a heparin-binding growth factor which has been found to play important regulatory roles in differentiation and morphogenesis during mouse embryonic development. We have analyzed the expression pattern of the GalNAc4S-6ST gene during early mouse embryonic development by whole mount in situ hybridization. The results show that GalNAc4S-6ST is differentially expressed in the anterior visceral ectoderm at stage E5.5 and later becomes restricted to the embryonic endoderm, especially in the prospective midgut region. During the turning process, expression of GalNAc4S-6ST gene is detected in the forebrain, branchial arches, across the gut tube (hindgut, midgut and foregut diverticulum), in the vitelline veins and artery and in the splanchnopleure layer. These results open the possibility of a role for GalNAc4S-6ST during early mouse development.


mouse development, AVE, endoderm development, gut tube

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