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J Biol Chem. 1989 Jul 5;264(19):11436-43.

Chondroitin sulfate and heparan sulfate proteoglycans of PC12 pheochromocytoma cells.

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Department of Pharmacology, New York University Medical Center, New York 10016.


We have isolated and characterized the cell-associated and secreted proteoglycans synthesized by a clonal line of rat adrenal medullary PC12 pheochromocytoma cells, which have been extensively employed for the study of a wide variety of neurobiological processes. Chondroitin sulfate accounts for 70-80% of the [35S] sulfate-labeled proteoglycans present in PC12 cells and secreted into the medium. Two major chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans were detected with molecular sizes of 45,000-100,000 and 120,000-190,000, comprising 14- and 105-kDa core proteins and one or two chondroitin sulfate chains with an average molecular size of 34 kDa. In contrast to the chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans, one major heparan sulfate proteoglycan accounts for most of the remaining 20-30% of the [35S] sulfate-labeled proteoglycans present in the PC12 cells and medium. It has a molecular size of 95,000-170,000, comprising a 65-kDa core protein and two to six 16-kDa heparan sulfate chains. Both the chondroitin sulfate and heparan sulfate proteoglycans also contain O-glycosidically linked oligosaccharides (25-28% of the total oligosaccharides) and predominantly tri- and tetraantennary N-glycosidic oligosaccharides. Proteoglycans produced by the original clone of PC12 cells were compared with those of two other PC12 cell lines (B2 and F3) that differ from the original clone in morphology, adhesive properties, and response to nerve growth factor. Although the F3 cells (a mutant line derived from B2 and reported to lack a cell surface heparan sulfate proteoglycan) do not contain a large molecular size heparan sulfate proteoglycan species, there was no significant difference between the B2 and F3 cells in the percentage of total heparan sulfate released by mild trypsinization, and both the B2 and F3 cells synthesized cell-associated and secreted chondroitin sulfate and heparan sulfate proteoglycans having properties very similar to those of the original PC12 cell line but with a reversed ratio (35:65) of chondroitin sulfate to heparan sulfate.

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