Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Matrix Biol. 2006 Sep;25(7):419-29. Epub 2006 Jun 30.

Peptides of type II collagen can induce the cleavage of type II collagen and aggrecan in articular cartilage.

Author information

  • 1Shriners Hospitals for Children, Department of Surgery, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3G 1A6.


The objective of this study was to determine whether a fragment(s) of type II collagen can induce cartilage degradation. Fragments generated by cyanogen bromide (CB) cleavage of purified bovine type II collagen were separated by HPLC. These fragments together with selected overlapping synthetic peptides were first analysed for their capacity to induce cleavage of type II collagen by collagenases in chondrocyte and explant cultures of healthy adult bovine articular cartilage. Collagen cleavage was measured by immunoassay and degradation of proteoglycan (mainly aggrecan) was determined by analysis of cleavage products of core protein by Western blotting. Gene expression of matrix metalloproteinases MMP-13 and MMP-1 was measured using Real-time PCR. Induction of denaturation of type II collagen in situ in cartilage matrix with exposure of the CB domain was identified with a polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies that only react with this domain in denatured but not native type II collagen. As well as the mixture of CB fragments and peptide CB12, a single synthetic peptide CB12-II (residues 195-218), but not synthetic peptide CB12-IV (residues 231-254), potently and consistently induced in explant cultures at 10 microM and 25 microM, in a time, cell and dose dependent manner, collagenase-induced cleavage of type II collagen accompanied by upregulation of MMP-13 expression but not MMP-1. In isolated chondrocyte cultures CB12-II induced very limited upregulation of MMP-13 as well as MMP-1 expression. Although this was accompanied by concomitant induction of cleavage of type II collagen by collagenases, this was not associated by aggrecan cleavage. Peptide CB12-IV, which had no effect on collagen cleavage, clearly induced aggrecanase specific cleavage of the core protein of this proteoglycan. Thus these events involving matrix molecule cleavage can importantly occur independently of each other, contrary to popular belief. Denaturation of type II collagen with exposure of the CB12-II domain was also shown to be much increased in osteoarthritic human cartilage compared to non-arthritic cartilage. These observations reveal that peptides of type II collagen, to which there is increased exposure in osteoarthritic cartilage, can when present in sufficient concentration induce cleavage of type II collagen (CB12-II) and aggrecan (CB12-IV) accompanied by increased expression of collagenases. Such increased concentrations of denatured collagen are present in adult and osteoarthritic cartilages and the exposure of chondrocytes to the sequences they encode, either in soluble or more likely insoluble form, may therefore play a role in the excessive resorption of matrix molecules that is seen in arthritis and development.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk