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J Cell Biochem. 1999 Dec 1;75(3):538-46.

Decorin inhibits cell migration through a process requiring its glycosaminoglycan side chain.

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INSERM Research Unit 403, Pavillon F, Hôpital Edouard Herriot, 69437 Lyon Cédex 03, France.


Several studies overwhelmingly support the notion that decorin (DCN) is involved in matrix assembly, and in the control of cell adhesion and proliferation. However, nothing is known about the role of DCN during cell migration. Cell migration is a tightly regulated process which requires both adhesion (at the leading edge of the cell) and de-adhesion (at the trailing edge of the cell) from the substratum. We have determined in this study the effect of DCN on MG-63 osteosarcoma cell migration and have analyzed whether its effect is mediated by the protein core and/or the glycosaminoglycan side chain. DCN impeded the migration-promoting effect of matrix molecules (fibronectin, collagen type I) known to interact with the proteoglycan. Conversely, DCN did not counteract the migration-promoting effect of fibrinogen lacking proteoglycan affinity. DCN bearing dermatan-sulfate chains (i.e., skin and cartilage DCN) was about 20-fold more effective in inhibiting cell migration than DCN bearing chondroitin-sulfate chains (i.e., bone DCN). In addition, chondroitinase AC-treatment of cartilage DCN (which specifically removes chondroitin-sulfate chains) did not attenuate the inhibitory effect of this proteoglycan, while cartilage DCN deprived of both chondroitin- and dermatan-sulfate chains failed to alter cell migration promoted by either fibronectin or its heparin- and cell-binding domains. These data assert that the dermatan-sulfate chains of DCN are responsible for a negative influence on cell migration. However, isolated glycosaminoglycans failed to alter cell migration promoted by fibronectin, indicating that strongly negatively charged glycosaminoglycans alone cannot account for the impaired cell motility seen with DCN. Overall, these results show that the inhibitory action of DCN is dependent of substratum binding, is differentially mediated by its glycosaminoglycan side chains (chondroitin-sulfate vs. dermatan-sulfate chains), and is independent of a steric hindrance effect exerted by its glycosaminoglycan side chains.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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