Control of proteoglycan synthesis. Studies on the activation of synthesis observed during culture of articular cartilages.
When slices of adult rabbit articular cartilage were incubated in culture medium, the rate of incorporation of [35S]sulphate or [3H]acetate into glycosaminoglycans increased 4-8 fold during the first 5 days of incubation. Similar changes in biosynthetic activity were observed during culture of adult bovine cartilage. The activation of synthesis was not serum-dependent, but appeared to be a result of the depletion of tissue proteoglycan that occurs under these incubation conditions [Sandy, Brown & Lowther (1978) Biochim. Biophys. Acta 543, 536--544]. Thus, although complete activation was observed in serum-free medium, it was not observed if the cartilage was cultured inside dialysis tubing or in medium containing added proteoglycan subunit. The average molecular size of the proteoglycans synthesized by activated tissue was slightly larger than normal, as determined by chromatography on Sepharose CL-2B, and the average molecular size of the glycosaminoglycans synthesized by activated tissue was markedly increased over the normal. The increase in chain size was accompanied by an increase in the proportion of the chains degraded by chondroitinase ABC; these results are consistent with the preferential synthesis by activated chondrocytes of chondroitin sulphate-rich proteoglycans. The increase in glycosaminoglycan chain size was observed whether the chains were formed on endogenous core protein or on exogenous benzyl-beta-D-zyloside. An approximate 4-fold activation in culture of glycosaminoglycan synthesis on protein core was accompanied by a 1.54-fold increase in the rate of incorporation of [3H]serine into the chondroitin sulphate-linkage region of the proteoglycans. A 2.8-fold activation in culture of glycosaminoglycan synthesis on benzyl-beta-D-zyloside was accompanied by a 1.7-fold increase in the rate of incorporation of [3H]benzyl-beta-D-zyloside into glycosaminoglycans. The activation of glycosaminoglycan synthesis was, however, accompanied by no detectable change in the activity of xylosyltransferase (EC 18.104.22.168) in cell-free extracts. These results are discussed in relation to current ideas on the control of proteoglycan synthesis in cartilage.
Sandy, JD; Brown, HL; Lowther, DA
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