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Glycoconj J. 2004;20(4):267-78.

Developmental changes in the biochemical and immunological characters of the carbohydrate moiety of neuroglycan C, a brain-specific chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan.

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Department of Perinatology, Institute for Developmental Research, Aichi Human Service Center, Kasugai, Aichi 480-0392, Japan.


Neuroglycan C (NGC), a brain-specific transmembrane proteoglycan, is thought to bear not only chondroitin sulfate but also N- and O-linked oligosaccharides on its core protein. In this study, we isolated and purified NGC from rat brains at various developmental stages by immunoaffinity column chromatography or by immunoprecipitation, and examined the structural characters of its carbohydrate moiety. The chondroitin sulfate disaccharide composition of NGC at postnatal day 10 was significantly different from those of two secreted chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans, neurocan and phosphacan, purified from the brain at the same developmental stage; higher levels of 4-sulfate unit and E unit, a disulfated disaccharide unit, and a lower level of 6-sulfate unit. The levels of both 6-sulfate and E units decreased with a compensatory increase of 4-sulfate unit with postnatal development of the brain. Lectin-blot analysis of the NGC core glycoprotein prepared by chondroitinase digestion confirmed that NGC actually bore both N- and O-linked carbohydrates, and also revealed that lectin-species reactive with NGC did not always recognize other brain-specific proteoglycans, neurocan and phosphacan, and vice versa, even though they were isolated from the brain at the same stage. The reactivity of NGC with lectins and with the HNK-1 antibody markedly changed as the brain matured. These findings indicate that the structure of the carbohydrate moiety of NGC is developmentally regulated, and differs from those of neurocan and phosphacan. The developmentally-regulated structural change of the carbohydrates on NGC may be partly implicated in the modulation of neuronal cell recognition during brain development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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