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Matrix Biol. 2006 Oct;25(8):534-45. Epub 2006 Jul 25.

Effects of covalently attached chondroitin sulfate on aggrecan cleavage by ADAMTS-4 and MMP-13.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio 44106, USA.


Aggrecan is degraded by several aggrecanase-1 (ADAMTS-4) isoforms differing in the number of sulfated glycosaminoglycan (sGAG)-binding motifs. ADAMTS-4 and MMPs cleave aggrecan more efficiently within the chondroitin sulfate (CS)-rich region than the interglobular domain (IGD). We investigated the influence of CS on aggrecan core protein cleavage by ADAMTS-4 (p68) and (p40) as well as MMP-13, which has no recognizable GAG-binding sites. Chondroitinase ABC-treated cartilage aggrecan was cleaved with ADAMTS-4 (p68) less efficiently than CS-substituted aggrecan within the CS-2 domain. Keratanase-treated aggrecan exhibited reduced IGD cleavage, but when both CS and KS were removed, the IGD cleavage was restored. This result suggests that KS in the IGD may compete with CS for ADAMTS-4 (p68) binding. In the absence of KS, however, p68 binding was shifted to the CS-2 domain. CS-deficient full-length recombinant aggrecan (rbAgg) was produced by chondroitinase ABC treatment, or by expression in the xylosyltransferase-deficient CHO-pgsA745 cell line. When digested with the ADAMTS-4 (p68), each of these preparations exhibited reduced CS-2 domain cleavage compared to CS-substituted CHO-K1 cell-derived aggrecan. Additionally, CS-deficient rbAgg showed increased IGD scission prior to cleavage within the CS-2 domain. ADAMTS-4 (p40) readily cleaved both rbAggs within the IGD, but cleaved poorly within the CS-2 domain, indicating little CS dependence. MMP-13, in contrast, cleaved the CS region and the IGD of both CS-substituted and CS-deficient rbAgg equally well. These data indicate that covalently bound CS enhances ADAMTS-4-mediated cleavage within the CS-rich region. MMP-13 also cleaves preferentially within the CS-region, but by an apparently CS-independent mechanism.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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