Dermatan sulfate, also known as chondroitin sulfate B, is found in a wide range of tissues and in virtually all animals. It is obtained by biochemical extraction and purification.
Dermatan sulfate is a linear polysaccharide formed by disaccharides containing GalNAc and IdoA with β linkages (1.4 or 1.3 respectively).
Dermatan sulfate is a natural glycosaminoglycan found mainly in the skin, but also in blood vessels, heart valves, tendons, lungs, and intestinal mucosa. In addition to its key role as a constituent of tissues and organs, dermatan sulfate is thought to be involved in wound repair, regulation of blood coagulation and the response to infection, although its role in these latter processes has not been fully characterized.
It has been shown that Dermatan sulfate also plays a significant role in cell differentiation, morphogenesis, and migration, which is why this substance is widely used for cosmetic purposes. However, it is thought that its potential use in clinical applications could be very significant.
Interesting biological activities have been reported, including antiparasitic, antiviral, anticancer, and regenerative activities, on which it is hoped therapies and medicinal products can be developed based on the molecule. It appears that the biological activity of some dermatan sulfate chains is related to interactions with growth factors that in some cases results in the inhibition or enhancement of the effects of these growth factors. This suggests that minimum amounts of dermatan sulfate may be used as highly active biomolecules.
With this objective, new bioactive sources of dermatan sulfate are being investigated that may represent potential drugs for future research and development, as well as providing better understanding of the structure-function relationship.