The human hyaluronan synthase genes: Genomic structures, proximal promoters and polymorphic microsatellite markers

Jamie Monslow, John D. Williams, Nadine Norton, Carol A. Guy, Iain K. Price, Sharon L. Coleman, Nigel M. Williams, Paul R. Buckland, Andrew P. Spicer, Nicholas Topley, Malcolm Davies, Timothy Bowen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The glycosaminoglycan (GAG) hyaluronan (HA) is a key component of the vertebrate extracellular matrix (ECM) and is synthesised by the HA synthase (HAS) enzymes HAS1, HAS2 and HAS3 at the plasma membrane. Accumulating evidence emphasises the relevance of HA metabolism in an increasing number of processes of clinical interest including renal fibrosis and peritoneal mesothelial wound healing. In the present study, the genomic sequences and organisation of the genes encoding the human HAS isoforms were deduced, in silico, from reference cDNA and genomic sequence data. These data were confirmed in vitro by sequencing of PCR-amplified HAS exons and flanking genomic sequences, comparison with sequence data for the corresponding murine Has orthologues, rapid amplification of 5′ cDNA ends analysis and luciferase reporter assays on putative proximal promoter sequences. The HAS1 gene comprised five exons, with the translation start site situated 9bp from the 3′ end of exon 1. In contrast, the genomic structures for HAS2 and both HAS3 variants spanned four exons, exon 1 forming a discrete 5′-untranslated region (5′-UTR) and the translation start site lying at nucleotide 1 of exon 2. Dinucleotide microsatellite loci were identified in intron 1 of HAS1 and HAS2, and immediately upstream of the HAS3 gene and their utility as linkage markers demonstrated in genomic DNA (gDNA) studies. We thus present a comprehensive resource for mutation detection screening of all HAS exons and/or linkage analysis of each HAS gene in a variety of disorders for which they are attractive candidates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1272-1283
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2003


  • Extracellular matrix
  • Genomic structure
  • Hyaluronan synthase gene
  • Microsatellite marker
  • Promoter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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