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Keywords:

  • growth factors;
  • hyaluronan;
  • hyaluronan synthase;
  • monoubiquitination;
  • O-GlcNAcylation;
  • phosphorylation;
  • protein traffic;
  • transcription factors;
  • UDP-glucuronic acid;
  • UDP-N-acetylglucosamine

Hyaluronan, a ubiquitous high-molecular-mass glycinoglycan on cell surfaces and in extracellular matrices, has a number of specific signaling functions in cell–cell communication. Changes in its content, molecular mass and turnover rate are crucial for cell proliferation, migration and apoptosis, processes that control tissue remodeling during embryonic development, inflammation, injury and cancer. To maintain tissue homeostasis, the synthesis of hyaluronan must therefore be tightly controlled. In this review, we highlight some recent data on the transcriptional regulation of hyaluronan synthase (Has1–3) expression and on the post-transcriptional control of hyaluronan synthase activity, which, in close association with the supply of the UDP-sugar substrates of hyaluronan synthase, adjust the rate of hyaluronan synthesis.