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Arch Biochem Biophys. 1992 Jul;296(1):190-7.

cDNA clone to chick corneal chondroitin/dermatan sulfate proteoglycan reveals identity to decorin.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Eye and Ear Institute of Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pennsylvania 15213.


A 1.6-kb cDNA clone was isolated by screening a library prepared from chick corneal mRNA with a cDNA clone to bovine decorin. The cDNA contained an open reading frame coding for a M(r) 39,683 protein. A 19-amino-acid match with sequence from the N-terminus of core protein from the corneal chondroitin/dermatan sulfate proteoglycan confirmed the clone as a corneal proteoglycan and the homology with human and bovine decorin confirmed its identity as decorin. Structural features of the deduced sequence include a 16-amino-acid signal peptide, a 14-amino-acid propeptide, cysteine residues at the N- and C-terminal regions, and a central leucine-rich region (comprising 63% of the protein) containing nine repeats of the sequence LXXLXLXXNXL/I. Chick decorin contains three variations of this sequence that are tandemly linked to form a unit and three units tandemly linked to form the leucine-rich region. The presence of beta bend amino acids flanking the units may serve to delineate the units as structural elements of the leucine-rich region. Sequence homology within the repeats and the spacing of the repeats suggest that this region arose by duplication. Chick decorin primarily differs from mammalian decorins in the 19-amino-acid sequence that starts the N-terminus of the core protein. Within this region, the serine that serves as a potential acceptor for the chondroitin/dermatan sulfate side chain is preceded by a glycine instead of being followed by a glycine as it is in the mammalian decorins and all other mammalian proteoglycans.

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