The Role of Heparan Sulfate and Perlecan in Bone-regenerative Procedures

DeCarlo, A. A.; Whitelock, J. M.
February 2006
Journal of Dental Research;Feb2006, Vol. 85 Issue 2, p122
Academic Journal
Tissue engineering, grafting procedures, regeneration, and tissue remodeling are developing therapeutic modalities with great potential medical value, but these regenerative modalities are not as effective or predictable as clinicians and patients would like. Greater understanding of growth factors, cytokines, extracellular matrix molecules, and their roles in cell-mediated healing processes have made these regenerative therapies more clinically viable and will continue advancing the fields of tissue engineering and grafting. However, millions of oral and non-oral bone-grafting procedures are performed annually, and only a small percentage yield the most desirable results. Here we review the heparan-sulfate-decorated extracellular biomolecule named perlecan and the research relating to its potential as an adjunct in bone-regenerative procedures. The review includes an overview of bone graft substitutes and biological adjuncts to bone-regenerative procedures in medicine as they apply to periodontal disease, alveolar ridge augmentation, and barrier membrane therapy. Perlecan is discussed as a potential biological adjunct in terms of growth factor sequestration and delivery, and promoting cell adhesion, proliferation, differentiation, and angiogenesis. Further, we propose delivery and application schemes for perlecan and/or its domains in bone-regenerative procedures, with particular emphasis on its heparan-sulfate-decorated domain I. The perlecan molecule, with its heparan sulfate glycosylation, may provide a multi-faceted approach for the delivery of a more comprehensive stimulus than other single potential adjuncts currently available for bone-regenerative procedures.


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