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Johnson Cancer Research Center

Dr. Yuntao Zhang

Department: Veterinary Diagnostic Lab

Extracellular matrix (ECM) not only provides support to cells and tissues, its functional macromolecules are also closely involved in the cellular and molecular mechanisms of cancer cells and affect their adhesion and migration as well as their invasiveness and metastatic potential. Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) polysaccharides are the most abundant negatively charged macromolecules of ECM and, normally covalently attached to proteoglycan core proteins, play important roles in physiological and pathological conditions of tumors. We study the changes of sulfation sequences of GAGs and the interaction between cell growth factors and GAGs during embryonic eye development, especially in the cornea. We try to understand the relationship between sulfation patterns of GAGs and growth factors in regulating eye cancer development.