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J Cell Sci. 2003 May 15;116(Pt 10):1863-73.

TSG-6: a multifunctional protein associated with inflammation.

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MRC Immunochemistry Unit, Department of Biochemistry, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QU, UK.


TSG-6 expression is upregulated in many cell types in response to a variety of proinflammatory mediators and growth factors. This protein is detected in several inflammatory disease states (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis) and in the context of inflammation-like processes, such as ovulation, and is often associated with extracellular matrix remodelling. TSG-6 has anti-inflammatory and chondroprotective effects in various models of inflammation and arthritis, which suggest that it is a component of a negative feedback loop capable of downregulating the inflammatory response. Growing evidence also indicates that TSG-6 acts as a crucial factor in ovulation by influencing the expansion of the hyaluronan-rich cumulus extracellular matrix in the preovulatory follicle. TSG-6 is a member of the Link module superfamily and binds to hyaluronan (a vital component of extracellular matrix), as well as other glycosaminoglycans, via its Link module. In addition, TSG-6 forms both covalent and non-covalent complexes with inter-alpha-inhibitor (a serine protease inhibitor present at high levels in serum) and potentiates its anti-plasmin activity.

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