Catabolism of aggrecan, decorin and biglycan in tendon.
ABSTRACT: We have examined the catabolism of the proteoglycans aggrecan, decorin and biglycan in fresh tendon samples and in explant cultures of tissue from the tensional and compressed regions of young and mature bovine tendons. A panel of well-characterized antibodies that recognize glycosaminoglycan or protein (linear or neoepitope) sequences was used to detect proteoglycans and proteoglycan degradation products that were both retained within the tissue and released into the culture medium. In addition, a reverse-transcriptase-mediated PCR analysis was used to examine the mRNA expression patterns of tendon proteoglycans and aggrecanases. The results of this study indicate a major role for aggrecanase(s) in the catabolism of aggrecan in bovine tendon. The study also provides a characterization of glycosaminoglycan epitopes associated with the proteoglycans of tendon, illustrating age-related changes in the isomers of chondroitin sulphate disaccharides that remain attached to the core protein glycosaminoglycan linkage region after digestion with chondroitinase ABC. Evidence for a rapid turnover of the small proteoglycans decorin and biglycan was also observed, indicating additional molecular pathways that might compromise the integrity of the collagen matrix and potentially contribute to tendon dysfunction after injury and during disease.
Project description:Cloned immortalized MC615 mouse chondrocytic cells were used to examine their capability to produce multiple types of matrix proteoglycans. Immunofluorescence staining indicated a uniform expression of aggrecan, biglycan and decorin by all cells. After culture with [35S]sulphate, proteo[35S]glycans secreted by the cells were found to elute in two peaks from a Sepharose CL-4B column. The first peak, at the void volume of the column, contained a large proteoglycan with an estimated average hydrodynamic mass of 10(3) kDa. The glycosaminoglycan chains of this proteoglycan had an average hydrodynamic size of 17 kDa, estimated by Sepharose CL-6B chromatography, indicating the presence of 30-70 glycosaminoglycan chains per core protein, which was consistent with the characteristics of aggrecan. Biglycan and decorin were immunoisolated from the second Sepharose CL-4B peak, and had average glycosaminoglycan hydrodynamic sizes of approx. 25 kDa and 32 kDa respectively. Glycosaminoglycan chains of the aggrecan, biglycan and decorin were treated with chondroitin ABC lyase, chondroitin AC lyase and chondroitin B lyase to determine the positions of sulphation and the degree of uronic acid epimerization. The aggrecan glycosaminoglycan chains were found to contain a 4-sulphate/6-sulphate ratio of 7:3, with no epimerization of glucuronic acid to iduronic acid. The biglycan glycosaminoglycan chains were found to contain a similar ratio of 4-sulphate/6-sulphate, but with approx. 40-45% of the glucuronic acid epimerized to iduronic acid. The decorin glycosaminoglycan chains were found to contain 4-sulphate but no detectable 6-sulphate, and approx. 30-35% epimerization of the glucuronic acid to iduronic acid. The results, using these cloned cells, indicated that a single MC615 cell is able to make all three proteoglycans with distinctive differences between the glycosaminoglycans of aggrecan, biglycan and decorin. These data indicate that a mechanism must exist for a single MC615 cell to regulate the sizes and fine structures of glycosaminoglycans on simultaneously produced, different proteoglycans in a core-protein-specific manner.
Project description:The aim of the present study was to characterize the proteoglycans and catabolic products of proteoglycans present in the tensile region of ligament and explant cultures of this tissue, and to compare these with those observed in the tensile region of tendon. Approx. 90% of the total proteoglycans in fresh ligament was decorin, as estimated by N-terminal amino acid sequence analysis. Other species that were detected were biglycan and the large proteoglycans versican (splice variants V(0) and/or V1 and/or V2) and aggrecan. Approx. 23% of decorin detected in the matrix was degraded. Intact decorin and decorin fragments similar to those observed in the matrix that retained the N-terminus were also observed in the medium of ligament cultures. Intact biglycan core protein was detected in the matrix and medium of ligament cultures, and two fragments originating from the N-terminal region of biglycan were observed in the matrix of cultured ligament. Versican and versican fragments that retained the N-terminus of versican core protein were detected in fresh matrix and medium of tendon cultures. Approx. 42% of versican present in the fresh ligament was degraded. Aggrecan catabolites appearing in the culture medium were derived from aggrecanase cleavage of the core protein. An intact link protein and a degradation product from the N-terminal region of type XII collagen were also detected in the medium of the ligament explant.
Project description:The present study reports the perplexing results that came about because of seriously impure commercially available reagents. Commercial reagents and chemicals are routinely ordered by scientists and expected to have been rigorously assessed for their purity. Unfortunately, we found this assumption to be risky. Extensive work was carried out within our laboratory using commercially sourced preparations of the small leucine-rich proteoglycans (SLRPs), decorin and biglycan, to investigate their influence on nerve cell growth. Unusual results compelled us to analyse the composition and purity of both preparations of these proteoglycans (PGs) using both mass spectrometry (MS) and Western blotting, with and without various enzymatic deglycosylations. Commercial 'decorin' and 'biglycan' were found to contain a mixture of PGs including not only both decorin and biglycan but also fibromodulin and aggrecan. The unexpected effects of 'decorin' and 'biglycan' on nerve cell growth could be explained by these impurities. Decorin and biglycan contain either chondroitin or dermatan sulfate glycosaminoglycan (GAG) chains whereas fibromodulin only contains keratan sulfate and the large (>2500 kDa), highly glycosylated aggrecan contains both keratan and chondroitin sulfate. The different structure, molecular weight and composition of these impurities significantly affected our work and any conclusions that could be made. These findings beg the question as to whether scientists need to verify the purity of each commercially obtained reagent used in their experiments. The implications of these findings are vast, since the effects of these impurities may already have led to inaccurate conclusions and reports in the literature with concomitant loss of researchers' funds and time.
Project description:This review summarizes the genetic alterations and knockdown approaches published in the literature to assess the role of key proteoglycans and glycoproteins in the structural development, function, and repair of tendon, ligament, and enthesis. The information was collected from (i) genetically altered mice, (ii) in vitro knockdown studies, (iii) genetic variants predisposition to injury, and (iv) human genetic diseases. The genes reviewed are for small leucine-rich proteoglycans (lumican, fibromodulin, biglycan, decorin, and asporin); dermatan sulfate epimerase (Dse) that alters structure of glycosaminoglycan and hence the function of small leucine-rich proteoglycans by converting glucuronic to iduronic acid; matricellular proteins (thrombospondin 2, secreted phosphoprotein 1 (Spp1), secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (Sparc), periostin, and tenascin X) including human tenascin C variants; and others, such as tenomodulin, leukocyte cell derived chemotaxin 1 (chondromodulin-I, ChM-I), CD44 antigen (Cd44), lubricin (Prg4), and aggrecan degrading gene, a disintegrin-like and metallopeptidase (reprolysin type) with thrombospondin type 1 motif, 5 (Adamts5). Understanding these genes represents drug targets for disrupting pathological mechanisms that lead to tendinopathy, ligamentopathy, enthesopathy, enthesitis and tendon/ligament injury, that is, osteoarthritis and ankylosing spondylitis.
Project description:A bovine nasal-cartilage culture system has been utilized to analyse the catabolic events occurring in response to interleukin-1beta over a 14-day period. An early event following the start of interleukin-1 treatment was the release of glycosaminoglycan into the culture medium. This release was accompanied by the appearance in the tissue, and shortly thereafter also in the culture media, of a globular domain (G1)-containing aggrecan degradation product generated by the action of aggrecanase. Link protein was also released from the cartilage with a similar timeframe to that of the G1 fragment, although there was no evidence of its proteolytic degradation. By comparison with aggrecan, the small leucine-rich repeat proteoglycans decorin, biglycan and lumican showed a resistance to both proteolytic cleavage and release throughout the culture period. In contrast, fibromodulin exhibited a marked decrease in size after day 4, presumably due to proteolytic modification, but the major degradation product was retained throughout the culture period. Also in contrast with the early changes in the components of the proteoglycan aggregate, type II collagen did not display signs of extensive degradation until much later in the culture period. Collagen degradation products compatible with collagenase action first appeared in the medium by day 10 and increased thereafter. These data demonstrate that the leucine-rich repeat proteoglycans are resistant to proteolytic action during interleukin-1-stimulated cartilage catabolism, compared with aggrecan. This resistance and continued interaction with the surface of the collagen fibrils may help to stabilize the collagen fibrillar network and protect it from extensive proteolytic attack during the early phases of cartilage degeneration.
Project description:Proteoglycans extracted with 4 M guanidinium chloride from young (mean 20 years) or old (mean 79 years) macroscopically normal human articular cartilage were separated by density gradient centrifugation and Q-Sepharose chromatography and characterized by gradient gel SDS/PAGE and immunodetection before and after removal of glycosaminoglycan chains. The extracts contained two large populations of aggrecan, a population of small N-terminal aggrecan fragments, as well as decorin, biglycan and fibromodulin. The distribution of all these species in density gradient fractions has been determined. The large aggrecan populations comprised four different chondroitin sulphate-bearing core proteins while the population of smaller fragments comprised eight different components. The two smallest fragments (35 and 42 kDa), identified as the first globular domain of aggrecan (N-terminal) (G1) and containing no glycosaminoglycan, were detected only in extracts of old cartilage. A 55 and a 70 kDa fragment of G1 were present in both keratan sulphate-containing and non-keratan sulphate-containing forms. Four other fragments, each containing keratan sulphate epitopes, were identified and these contained either G1 epitopes (one 95 kDa species), or G1 and G2 epitopes (three species). These results have suggested that proteolytic processing at the N-terminus is more extensive than has previously been recognized and raises the possibility that more than one proteinase may be involved in aggrecan degradation in vivo. With the exception of the two smallest G1 fragments, the repertoire of proteoglycan fragments found in young and old human articular cartilage is essentially the same, although the relative abudnance of various species differed. The older tissue contains a larger proportion of C-terminally truncated aggrecan fragments and a significantly decreased content of decorin and biglycan.
Project description:Immunological studies revealed the presence of several different forms of biglycan and decorin in human intervertebral-disc tissues (annulus fibrosus, nucleus pulposus and cartilage end-plate). In the young intervertebral disc, glycosaminoglycan-containing (glycanated) forms of both biglycan and decorin represented a greater proportion of the total proteoglycan population present in extracts of annulus fibrosus and cartilage end-plate compared with extracts of nucleus pulposus, in which they were barely detectable. In older discs the glycanated forms of biglycan and decorin represented only a small proportion of the total proteoglycan present. Immunochemical analyses with an antibody to chondroitin/dermatan sulphate isomers indicated differences in the glycosaminoglycans substituted on glycanated forms of small proteoglycans found in different disc tissues. Dermatan sulphate was the predominant glycosaminoglycan present on biglycan and decorin in annulus fibrosus extracts, whereas chondroitin 4-sulphate was present in both small proteoglycans isolated from cartilage end-plate. In addition, immunochemical analyses with antibodies against core protein epitopes identified two non-glycanated forms of both biglycan and decorin. These non-glycanated forms of the small proteoglycans were found in all three regions of the disc. The two nonglycanated forms of biglycan had estimated molecular masses of 37 and 41 kDa and those of decorin were 43 and 45 kDa, respectively. These non-glycanated forms of biglycan and decorin increased in proportion with aging. N-terminal sequence analysis indicated that the larger non-glycanated form of decorin was a degradation product of its glycanated precursor. However, no N-terminal sequence information was obtainable from the other non-glycanated form of decorin or the two non-glycanated forms of biglycan. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that some of the non-glycanated forms of decorin and biglycan are degradation products of native precursors. However, the possibility remains that several different post-translationally modified forms of decorin and biglycan are synthesized by intervertebral-disc tissues.
Project description:Recent studies have demonstrated that the small leucine-rich proteoglycans (SLRPs) biglycan and decorin impact tendon development, aging and healing in mature mice. However, despite the increased risk of tendon injury in the elderly, the role of SLRPs in tendon repair has not been investigated in aged animals. Therefore, our objective was to elucidate the influences of bigylcan and decorin on tendon healing in aged mice to relate our findings to previous work in mature mice. Since the processes of aging and healing are known to interact, our hypothesis was that aging mediates the role of biglycan and decorin on tendon healing. Patellar tendons from wild-type, biglycan-null and decorin-null mice were injured at 270 days using an established model. At 3 and 6 weeks post-surgery, structural, mechanical and biochemical analyses were performed and compared to uninjured controls. Early stage healing was inferior in biglycan-null and decorin-null mice as compared to wild type. However, tendons of all genotypes failed to exhibit improved mechanical properties between 3 and 6 weeks post-injury. In contrast, in a previous investigation of tendon healing in mature (i.e., 120 day-old) mice, only biglycan-null mice were deficient in early stage healing while decorin-null mice were deficient in late-stage healing. These results confirm that the impact of SLRPs on tendon healing is mediated by age and could inform future age-specific therapies for enhancing tendon healing.
Project description:The small leucine-rich proteoglycans (SLRPs), decorin and biglycan, are key regulators of collagen fibril and matrix assembly. The goal of this work was to elucidate the roles of decorin and biglycan in tendon homeostasis. Our central hypothesis is that decorin and biglycan expression in the mature tendon would be critical for the maintenance of the structural and mechanical properties of healthy tendons. Defining the function(s) of these SLRPs in tendon homeostasis requires that effects in the mature tendon be isolated from their influence on development. Thus, we generated an inducible knockout mouse model that permits genetic ablation of decorin and biglycan expression in the mature tendon, while maintaining normal expression during development. Decorin and biglycan expression were knocked out in the mature patellar tendon with the subsequent turnover of endogenous SLRPs deposited prior to induction. The acute absence of SLRP expression was associated with changes in fibril structure with a general shift to larger diameter fibrils in the compound knockout tendons, together with fibril diameter heterogeneity. In addition, tendon mechanical properties were altered. Compared to wild-type controls, acute ablation of both genes resulted in failure of the tendon at lower loads, decreased stiffness, a trend towards decreased dynamic modulus, as well as a significant increase in percent relaxation and tissue viscosity. Collagen fiber realignment was also increased with a delayed and slower in response to load in the absence of expression. These structural and functional changes in response to an acute loss of decorin and biglycan expression in the mature tendon demonstrate a significant role for these SLRPs in adult tendon homeostasis.
Project description:Achilles tendons are a common source of pain and injury, and their pathology may originate from aberrant structure function relationships. Small leucine rich proteoglycans (SLRPs) influence mechanical and structural properties in a tendon-specific manner. However, their roles in the Achilles tendon have not been defined. The objective of this study was to evaluate the mechanical and structural differences observed in mouse Achilles tendons lacking class I SLRPs; either decorin or biglycan. In addition, empirical modeling techniques based on mechanical and image-based measures were employed. Achilles tendons from decorin-null (Dcn(-/-)) and biglycan-null (Bgn(-/-)) C57BL/6 female mice (N=102) were used. Each tendon underwent a dynamic mechanical testing protocol including simultaneous polarized light image capture to evaluate both structural and mechanical properties of each Achilles tendon. An empirical damage model was adapted for application to genetic variation and for use with image based structural properties to predict tendon dynamic mechanical properties. We found that Achilles tendons lacking decorin and biglycan had inferior mechanical and structural properties that were age dependent; and that simple empirical models, based on previously described damage models, were predictive of Achilles tendon dynamic modulus in both decorin- and biglycan-null mice.