Studies in Drosophila and vertebrate systems have demonstrated that heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) play crucial roles in modulating growth factor signaling. We have isolated mutations in sister of tout velu (sotv), a gene that encodes a co-polymerase that synthesizes HSPG glycosaminoglycan (GAG) chains. Our phenotypic and biochemical analyses reveal that HS levels are dramatically reduced in the absence of Sotv or its partner co-polymerase Tout velu (Ttv), suggesting that both copolymerases are essential for GAG synthesis. Furthermore, we find that mutations in sotv and ttv impair Hh, Wg and Decapentaplegic (Dpp) signaling. This contrasts with previous studies that suggested loss of ttv compromises only Hh signaling. Our results may contribute to understanding the biological basis of hereditary multiple exostoses (HME), a disease associated with bone overgrowth that results from mutations in EXT1 and EXT2, the human orthologs of ttv and sotv.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Developmental Biology