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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Nitric oxide products degrade chondroitin sulfates.

Nitric oxide (NO) is a potent endogenous vasodilator that is elevated in response to inflammation. Inflammation also produces high levels of superoxide, which combines with NO to produce peroxynitrite (PN). We have previously reported that NO degrades heparin and heparan sulfate under acidic conditions and that PN degrades hyaluronan (HA) at neutral pH. Heparin and HA are glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) widely distributed in the extracellular matrix of tissues. Disruption of intestinal GAGs, particularly the chondroitin sulfates, were linked to inflammatory bowel diseases. Chondroitin sulfate A (CSA), chondroitin sulfate B (CSB), and chondroitin sulfate C (CSC) are constituents of the basement membranes of many tissues, including the intestine. The purpose of this study is to determine whether the NO donor S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine (SNAP) and PN can degrade chondroitin sulfates in vitro. The NO donor SNAP (2 mM, pH 4.0) or PN (5 mM, pH 7.4) was incubated for at least 1 week at 37 degrees C with CSA, CSB, or CSC. Breakdown of CSA, CSB, and CSC was assessed by gel filtration chromatography and compared with untreated controls. Percentage degradation was calculated based on the change in peak height compared to the control. SNAP treatment partially degraded CSB and CSC, whereas PN partially degraded all three chondroitin sulfates. Nitric oxide mediated degradation of GAGs, and particularly chondroitin sulfates, may be an important pathway of inflammatory tissue damage.[1]


  1. Nitric oxide products degrade chondroitin sulfates. Hassan, M.S., Mileva, M.M., Dweck, H.S., Rosenfeld, L. Nitric Oxide (1998) [Pubmed]
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