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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2001 Jul 27;285(4):926-31.

YKL-40 (cartilage gp-39) induces proliferative events in cultured chondrocytes and synoviocytes and increases glycosaminoglycan synthesis in chondrocytes.

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Division of Rheumatology, Institut de Recherches Servier, 11 rue des Moulineaux, Suresnes, 92150, France.


YKL-40 (cartilage gp-39), is a mammalian glycoprotein related in sequence to chitinases. Its function is unknown, but it is thought to be involved in tissue remodeling. Immunocytochemical staining of YKL-40 in guinea pig chondrocytes (GPC), rabbit chondrocytes (RC), and rabbit synoviocytes (RS) was higher in dividing cells than in confluent cells, suggesting a participation of YKL-40 in cell cycle events. As assessed by the MTT assay, YKL-40 at 1.9-7.6 nM had dose-dependent mitogenic activity toward the three cell types. At 7.6 nM, YKL-40 increased the number of cells of 42% in GPC, 75% in RC, and 86% in RS after 72 h. YKL-40 also stimulated total proteoglycan synthesis by chondrocytes in a dose-dependent manner as assessed by Na[35SO4] incorporation and cetylpyridinium chloride precipitation. At 9.4 nM, YKL-40 increased proteoglycan synthesis of 42% in GPC and 58% in RC after 24 h. The growth factor properties of YKL-40 may explain the increased tissue remodeling associated with high levels of YKL-40 in joint diseases, and possibly, in malignant pathologies such as breast cancer or colorectal cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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