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Heparin and heparan sulfate (HS) glycosaminoglycans are linear sulfated polysaccharides located on cell-surface membranes and in extracellular matrices in virtually all animal tissues. Heparin and HS have been implicated in cell-biological processes, cell adhesion and regulation of enzymatic catalysis (1). HS chains have been shown to interact with a variety of growth factors, chemokines, ECM proteins, and enzymes, including antithrombin, fibroblast growth factors and vascular endothelial growth factor (2). Heparin has been widely used as an anticoagulant drug (3,4), and it has been shown to regulate cellular process by binding, stabilizing and activating various growth factors (5).
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