Immunoglobulin (Ig)-like domain of the chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan core protein (CSPG), neurocan
The members here are composed of the immunoglobulin (Ig)-like domain of the chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan core protein (CSPG), neurocan. In CSPGs, the Ig-like domain is followed by hyaluronan (HA)-binding tandem repeats, and a C-terminal region with epidermal growth factor-like, lectin-like, and complement regulatory protein-like domains. Separating these N- and C-terminal regions is a nonhomologous glycosaminoglycan attachment region. In cartilage, the CSPG aggrecan (not included in this group) forms cartilage link protein stabilized aggregates with HA. These aggregates contribute to the tissue's load bearing properties. Unlike aggrecan which is widely distributed in connective tissue and extracellular matrices, neurocan is localized almost exclusively in nervous tissue. Aggregates having other CSPGs substituting for aggrecan may contribute to the structural integrity of many different tissues. Members of the vertebrate HPLN (hyaluronan/HA and proteoglycan binding link) protein family are physically linked adjacent to CSPG genes.