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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

HBNF and MK, members of a novel gene family of heparin-binding proteins with potential roles in embryogenesis and brain function.

HBNF (heparin- binding neurite- promoting factor) is a heparin-binding protein which is found primarily in the brain and stimulates neurite outgrowth in cultured perinatal neurons. It was also reported to be mitogenic for fibroblasts and endothelial cells but this activity is still controversial. The sequence of HBNF is highly conserved in diverse species suggesting important function. Expression of the HBNF gene in brain tissue appears to be developmentally regulated, increasing during gestation to highest levels around the time of birth. The HBNF gene shows high sequence homology to another gene, MK (midkine). Like HBNF, the MK gene is developmentally regulated, however, high expression occurs in most fetal tissues during mid-gestation. The biological properties of the MK protein are remarkably similar to those of HBNF. The available evidence suggests that HBNF and MK are members of a new family of genes with potential roles in fetal development and in brain function or maintenance.[1]


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