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J Biol Chem. 1992 Oct 15;267(29):20613-9.

Isolation and partial characterization of lumican and decorin from adult chicken corneas. A keratan sulfate-containing isoform of decorin is developmentally regulated.

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  • 1Eye & Ear Institute of Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pennsylvania 15213.


The proteoglycans extracted from adult chicken were initially purified by DEAE-chromatography. Digestion of these proteoglycans with chondroitinase ABC generated a single 40-kDa core protein while digestion with keratanase generated a single 52-kDa core protein. Digestion with both enzymes combined, however, increased the amount of 40-kDa core protein produced. This suggested that the 40-kDa core protein exists with chondroitin/dermatan sulfate (C/DS) side chains alone and with both C/DS and keratan sulfate (KS) side chains. The proteoglycan fraction was initially digested with chondroitinase ABC, and the M(r) = 40,000 core protein derived from proteoglycans containing C/DS side chains alone was isolated. Amino-terminal sequencing showed it to be the chick cognate of decorin. The remaining proteoglycans were then digested with keratanase, and both the 40-kDa core protein and the 52-kDa core proteins derived from KS-containing proteoglycans were purified. The M(r) = 40,000 core protein derived from proteoglycans containing both C/DS and KS side chains had the same amino-terminal sequence as decorin and cross-reacted with antibodies to decorin. Sequence from the 52-kDa core protein derived from KS-containing proteoglycans showed it to be lumican. The results of this study suggest that adult chick corneas contain two isoforms of decorin: one containing C/DS side chains and the other, a hybrid, containing both C/DS and KS side chains. Embryonic corneas did not contain the hybrid isoform of decorin. These results suggest that different post-translational modifications occur to the decorin gene product during corneal development and maturation.

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