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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1994 Nov 22;1219(3):613-22.

Analysis of aggrecan and tenascin gene expression in mouse skeletal tissues by northern and in situ hybridization using species specific cDNA probes.

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University of Turku, Department of Molecular Biology and Medical Biochemistry, Finland.


Cartilage matrix is an interacting multicomponent system of collagen fibrils, fibril-associated small proteoglycans, and large proteoglycans and glycoproteins entrapped within the fibrillar network. In order to better understand the relationships between these different components we have constructed short cDNA clones for detection of mRNAs for two major noncollagenous macromolecules of cartilage matrix, aggrecan and tenascin. We subsequently determined their corresponding mRNA levels by Northern analysis in a panel of total RNAs isolated from several newborn mouse tissues. The expression of aggrecan was strictly restricted to cartilages while tenascin mRNA was present at variable levels in most of the tissues studied. The cDNA clones were also used to identify the cells responsible for aggrecan and tenascin production in newborn mouse tissues by in situ hybridization. With this technique aggrecan mRNA was detected in chondrocytes throughout the developing skeleton in a pattern very similar but not identical to those of type II and IX collagen mRNAs. In the newborn mouse skeleton tenascin and aggrecan mRNAs were expressed essentially in a mutually exclusive manner, tenascin transcripts being present in osteoblasts, periosteal and perichondrial cells, and in cells at articular surfaces. None of these cells expressed the cartilage specific collagen or aggrecan genes. The results further suggest different patterns of gene expression in chondrocytes based on their location in the different cartilages.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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