Hyaluronan is a ubiquitous high-molecular weight polymer of repeated disaccharides of glucuronic acid and N-acetylglucosamine. It is a membrane-bound, viscous material extruded into the extracellular matrix after being synthesized in the cytoplasm by hyaluronan synthases complex and a regulated degradation by a group of enzymes called hyaluronidases. Hyaluronan has varied biological roles on many vital organismal functions, such as cellular and tissue development, migration and repair after injury or inflammation and cancer genesis. Hyaluronan in the tissue microenvironment is regulated by its concentration as well as the chain length of the polysaccharide. Many functions of hyaluronan are mediated by specific receptors at the cellular level, though its general physiochemical properties facilitate and coordinate many organ functions as well as in development. These fundamental characteristics of hyaluronan are reviewed, focusing on human biological context. © 2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.
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R. A. Joy, Vikkath, N., and Ariyannur, P. S., Metabolism and mechanisms of action of hyaluronan in human biology. Walter de Gruyter GmbH, 2018.