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PLoS One. 2015 Jun 24;10(6):e0131105. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0131105. eCollection 2015.

The identification of proteoglycans and glycosaminoglycans in archaeological human bones and teeth.

Author information

1
Department of Biochemistry, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; School of Life Sciences, University of Lincoln, Lincoln, Lincs, United Kingdom.
2
Department of Biochemistry, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; Department of Ophthalmology, College of Medicine, Edith J. Crawley Vision Research Center, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio, United States of America.
3
Durham University, Durham, United Kingdom.
4
Department of Biochemistry, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.
5
School of Life Sciences, University of Lincoln, Lincoln, Lincs, United Kingdom.

Abstract

Bone tissue is mineralized dense connective tissue consisting mainly of a mineral component (hydroxyapatite) and an organic matrix comprised of collagens, non-collagenous proteins and proteoglycans (PGs). Extracellular matrix proteins and PGs bind tightly to hydroxyapatite which would protect these molecules from the destructive effects of temperature and chemical agents after death. DNA and proteins have been successfully extracted from archaeological skeletons from which valuable information has been obtained; however, to date neither PGs nor glycosaminoglycan (GAG) chains have been studied in archaeological skeletons. PGs and GAGs play a major role in bone morphogenesis, homeostasis and degenerative bone disease. The ability to isolate and characterize PG and GAG content from archaeological skeletons would unveil valuable paleontological information. We therefore optimized methods for the extraction of both PGs and GAGs from archaeological human skeletons. PGs and GAGs were successfully extracted from both archaeological human bones and teeth, and characterized by their electrophoretic mobility in agarose gel, degradation by specific enzymes and HPLC. The GAG populations isolated were chondroitin sulfate (CS) and hyaluronic acid (HA). In addition, a CSPG was detected. The localization of CS, HA, three small leucine rich PGs (biglycan, decorin and fibromodulin) and glypican was analyzed in archaeological human bone slices. Staining patterns were different for juvenile and adult bones, whilst adolescent bones had a similar staining pattern to adult bones. The finding that significant quantities of PGs and GAGs persist in archaeological bones and teeth opens novel venues for the field of Paleontology.

PMID:
26107959
PMCID:
PMC4481269
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0131105
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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