Heparin Structure and Interactions with Basic Fibroblast Growth Factor

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Science  23 Feb 1996:
Vol. 271, Issue 5252, pp. 1116-1120
DOI: 10.1126/science.271.5252.1116


Crystal structures of heparin-derived tetra- and hexasaccharides complexed with basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) were determined at resolutions of 1.9 and 2.2 angstroms, respectively. The heparin structure may be approximated as a helical polymer with a disaccharide rotation of 174° and a translation of 8.6 angstroms along the helix axis. Both molecules bound similarly to a region of the bFGF surface containing residues asparagine-28, arginine-121, lysine-126, and glutamine-135; the hexasaccharide also interacted with an additional binding site formed by lysine-27, asparagine-102, and lysine-136. No significant conformational change in bFGF occurred upon heparin oligosaccharide binding, which suggests that heparin primarily serves to juxtapose components of the FGF signal transduction pathway.

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