Biosynthesis of 3-O-sulfated heparan sulfate: Unique substrate specificity of heparan sulfate 3-O-sulfotransferase isoform 5

Jinghua Chen, Michael B. Duncan, Kevin Carrick, R. Marshall Pope, Jian Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Heparan sulfate 3-O-sulfotransferase transfers sulfate to the 3-OH position of a glucosamine to generate 3-O-sulfated heparan sulfate (HS), which is a rare component in HS from natural sources. We previously reported that 3-O-sulfotransferase isoform 5 (3-OST-5) generates both an antithrombin-binding site to exhibit anticoagulant activity and a binding site for herpes simplex virus 1 glycoprotein D to serve as an entry receptor for herpes simplex virus. In this study, we characterize the substrate specificity of 3-OST-5 using the purified enzyme. The enzyme was expressed in insect cells using the baculovirus expression approach and was purified by using heparin-Sepharose and 3′,5′-ADP-agarose chromatographies. As expected, the purified enzyme generates both an antithrombin binding site and a glycoprotein D binding site. We isolated IdoUA-AnMan3S and IdoUA-AnMan3S6S from nitrous acid-degraded 3-OST-5-modified HS (pH 1.5), suggesting that 3-OST-5 enzyme sulfates the glucosamine residue that is linked to an iduronic acid residue at the nonreducing end. We also isolated a disaccharide with a structure of ΔUA2S-GlcNS3S and a tetrasaccharide with a structure of ΔUA2S-GlcNS-IdoUA2S-GlcNH23S6S from heparin lyases-digested 3-OST-5-modified HS. Our results suggest that 3-OST-5 enzyme sulfates both N-sulfated glucosamine and N-unsubstituted glucosamine residues. Taken together, the results indicate that 3-OST-5 has broader substrate specificity than those of 3-OST-1 and 3-OST-3. The unique substrate specificity of 3-OST-5 serves as an additional tool to study the mechanism for the biosynthesis of biologically active HS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)785-794
Number of pages10
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Anticoagulation
  • Antithrombin
  • Heparan sulfate
  • Heparan sulfate sulfotransferase
  • Herpes simplex virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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