Send to

Choose Destination
Matrix Biol. 2015 Mar;42:11-55. doi: 10.1016/j.matbio.2015.02.003. Epub 2015 Feb 18.

Proteoglycan form and function: A comprehensive nomenclature of proteoglycans.

Author information

Department of Pathology, Anatomy and Cell Biology and the Cancer Cell Biology and Signaling Program, Kimmel Cancer Center, Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA. Electronic address:
Pharmazentrum Frankfurt/ZAFES, Institut für Allgemeine Pharmakologie und Toxikologie, Klinikum der Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main, Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Electronic address:


We provide a comprehensive classification of the proteoglycan gene families and respective protein cores. This updated nomenclature is based on three criteria: Cellular and subcellular location, overall gene/protein homology, and the utilization of specific protein modules within their respective protein cores. These three signatures were utilized to design four major classes of proteoglycans with distinct forms and functions: the intracellular, cell-surface, pericellular and extracellular proteoglycans. The proposed nomenclature encompasses forty-three distinct proteoglycan-encoding genes and many alternatively-spliced variants. The biological functions of these four proteoglycan families are critically assessed in development, cancer and angiogenesis, and in various acquired and genetic diseases where their expression is aberrant.


Angiogenesis; Cancer growth; Glycosaminoglycan; Growth factor modulation; Proteoglycan

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center