The content and size of hyaluronan in biological fluids and tissues

Mary Cowman, Hong Gee Lee, Kathryn L. Schwertfeger, James B. McCarthy, Eva A. Turley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Hyaluronan is a simple repeating disaccharide polymer, synthesized at the cell surface by integral membrane synthases. The repeating sequence is perfectly homogeneous, and is the same in all vertebrate tissues and fluids. The polymer molecular mass is more variable. Most commonly, hyaluronan is synthesized as a high-molecular mass polymer, with an average molecular mass of approximately 1000-8000 kDa. There are a number of studies showing increased hyaluronan content, but reduced average molecular mass with a broader range of sizes present, in tissues or fluids when inflammatory or tissue-remodeling processes occur. In parallel studies, exogenous hyaluronan fragments of low-molecular mass (generally, <200 kDa) have been shown to affect cell behavior through binding to receptor proteins such as CD44 and RHAMM (gene name HMMR), and to signal either directly or indirectly through toll-like receptors. These data suggest that receptor sensitivity to hyaluronan size provides a biosensor of the state of the microenvironment surrounding the cell. Sensitive methods for isolation and characterization of hyaluronan and its fragments have been developed and continue to improve. This review provides an overview of the methods and our current state of knowledge of hyaluronan content and size distribution in biological fluids and tissues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number261
JournalFrontiers in Immunology
Volume6
Issue numberJUN
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

Fingerprint

Hyaluronic Acid
Polymers
Cellular Microenvironment
Disaccharides
Toll-Like Receptors
Biosensing Techniques
Names
Vertebrates
Membranes
Genes
Proteins

Keywords

  • Assay
  • Hyaluronan
  • Molecular mass
  • Molecular weight
  • Quantification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy

Cite this

Cowman, M., Lee, H. G., Schwertfeger, K. L., McCarthy, J. B., & Turley, E. A. (2015). The content and size of hyaluronan in biological fluids and tissues. Frontiers in Immunology, 6(JUN), [261]. https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2015.00261

The content and size of hyaluronan in biological fluids and tissues. / Cowman, Mary; Lee, Hong Gee; Schwertfeger, Kathryn L.; McCarthy, James B.; Turley, Eva A.

In: Frontiers in Immunology, Vol. 6, No. JUN, 261, 2015.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Cowman, Mary ; Lee, Hong Gee ; Schwertfeger, Kathryn L. ; McCarthy, James B. ; Turley, Eva A. / The content and size of hyaluronan in biological fluids and tissues. In: Frontiers in Immunology. 2015 ; Vol. 6, No. JUN.
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