Biochemical Journal

Research article

Expression of human hyaluronan synthases in response to external stimuli

Annica JACOBSON, Jonas BRINCK, Michael J. BRISKIN, Andrew P. SPICER, Paraskevi HELDIN


In the present study we have investigated the expression of mRNAs for hyaluronan synthase isoforms (HAS1, HAS2 and HAS3) in different cells in response to various stimuli. Human mesothelial cells, which synthesize large amounts of hyaluronan, express mRNAs encoding all three HAS isoforms, whereas their transformed counterparts, mesothelioma cells, which produce only minute amounts of hyaluronan, express only HAS3 mRNA. Human lung fibroblasts and the glioma cell line U-118 MG express only the HAS2 and HAS3 genes. The expression of the transcripts was higher in subconfluent than in confluent cultures and was well correlated with the production of hyaluronan by the cells. Stimulation of mesothelial cells with platelet-derived growth factor-BB induced an up-regulation of mRNA for HAS2 to a maximum after 6 h of stimulation; HAS1 and HAS3 genes were only induced slightly. Transforming growth factor-β1 reduced HAS2 mRNA slightly, and hydrocortisone reduced it strongly, within 6 h of stimulation in mesothelial cell cultures but did not significantly affect the expression of mRNAs for HAS1 and HAS3. Induction of HAS1 and HAS2 protein levels in response to the stimuli above correlated with HAS transcript levels. Thus the expression of the three HAS isoforms is more prominent in growing cells than in resting cells and is differentially regulated by various stimuli suggesting distinct functional roles of the three proteins.

  • biosynthesis
  • growth factors
  • regulation
  • signal transduction