Send to

Choose Destination
Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2006 Feb;14(2):101-13. Epub 2005 Sep 26.

Human osteoarthritis synovial fluid and joint cartilage contain both aggrecanase- and matrix metalloproteinase-generated aggrecan fragments.

Author information

Department of Orthopaedics, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.



To identify the major aggrecanase- and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-generated aggrecan fragments in human osteoarthritis (OA) synovial fluid and in human OA joint cartilage.


Aggrecan fragments were prepared by CsCl gradient centrifugation. Fragment distributions were compared with aggrecanase-1 (ADAMTS-4) and MMP-3 digested human aggrecan by analysis with neoepitope antibodies and an anti-G1 domain antibody, using Western immuno-blots.


The overall fragment pattern of OA synovial fluid aggrecan was similar to the fragment pattern of cartilage aggrecan cleaved in vitro by ADAMTS-4. However, multiple glycosaminoglycan (GAG) containing aggrecanase and MMP-generated aggrecan fragments were identified in OA synovial fluid and some of these fragments were produced by the action of both types of proteinases. The synovial fluid content of large size aggrecan fragments with (374)ARGS- and (342)FFGV- N-terminals was about 107 and 40 pmoles per ml, respectively, out of a total concentration of aggrecan fragments of about 185 pmoles per ml. OA synovial fluid contained insignificant amounts of the G1-IPEN(341) fragment as compared to the G1-TEGE(373) fragment, while OA cartilage contained significant amounts of both fragments. OA cartilage contained several GAG-containing aggrecan fragments with N-terminals of G1- or (342)FFGV- but no fragments with an N-terminal of (374)ARGS-.


The overall pattern of aggrecan fragments in human OA synovial fluid and cartilage supports an important role for aggrecanase in aggrecan degradation. However, the fragment patterns and their differential distribution between cartilage and synovial fluid are consistent with the existence of at least two proteolytic pathways for aggrecan degradation in human OA, generating both (342)FFGV- and (374)ARGS-fragments.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center