The main interest of Xu lab is to understand how proteins interact with heparan sulfate (HS), a highly negatively charged linear polysaccharide, and the physiological significance of the interactions in bone remodeling and inflammation. Universally expressed by all mammalian cells, HS is a major and often dominant component of the landscape at the cell surface and thus plays essential roles in cell signaling, cell-cell interactions and host-pathogen interactions. At the cell surface and in the extracellular matrix, HS interacts with hundreds of HS-binding proteins, many of which are important drug targets (including receptors, cytokines, chemokines and enzymes). The dependence of these proteins on HS for normal function suggests that disrupting HS-protein interaction could be an effective means to block the activity of these HS-binding proteins.
Currently we have three main research areas:
Our research is generously supported by: