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Biochem J. 1995 Aug 1;309 ( Pt 3):963-8.

Expression of cell-surface proteoglycan mRNA by human articular chondrocytes.

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Genetics Unit, Shriners Hospital for Crippled Children, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


The expression of six cell-surface proteoglycans (syndecan, fibroglycan, amphiglycan, glypican, betaglycan and CD44) was studied at the mRNA level. Analysis was performed by Northern blotting using total RNA preparations from freshly isolated articular chondrocytes obtained from both juveniles and adults. Similar results were obtained for both age groups. By far the most abundant message was that for amphiglycan, CD44 message was next in relative abundance, and the messages for fibroglycan, glypican and betaglycan were all expressed at low levels. Syndecan message could not be detected by this technique. This pattern of expression was different to that observed in cultured skin fibroblasts, where the messages for amphiglycan, CD44, fibroglycan and glypican were all expressed at a similar level. In contrast with the fibroblasts, where the amphiglycan message exhibits no size polymorphism, the chondrocyte amphiglycan message is present in three polymorphic forms, due to the use of alternative polyadenylation signals. When the newly isolated chondrocytes are maintained in monolayer culture for several passages, the amphiglycan message heterogeneity reverts to that characteristic of the fibroblasts. Thus human articular chondrocytes are characterized by both their high level of amphiglycan message expression and their use of alternative polyadenylation signals.

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