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

Synthesis of corneal keratan sulfate proteoglycans by bovine keratocytes in vitro.

Keratan sulfate proteoglycans (KSPGs) are the major proteoglycans of the cornea and are secreted by keratocytes in the corneal stroma. Previous studies have been able to show only transient secretion of KSPG in cell culture. In this study, cultures of bovine keratocytes were found to secrete the three previously characterized KSPG proteins into culture medium. Reactivity with monoclonal antibody I22 demonstrated substitution of these proteins with keratan sulfate chains. KSPG constituted 15% of the proteoglycan metabolically labeled with [35S]sulfate in keratocyte culture medium. This labeled KSPG contained keratan sulfate chains of 4700 Da compared to 21,000 Da for bovine corneal keratan sulfate. Labeled keratan sulfate from cultures contained nonsulfated, monosulfated, and disulfated disaccharides that were released by digestion with endo-beta-galactosidase or keratanase II. Nonsulfated disaccharides were relatively more abundant in keratan sulfate from culture than in corneal keratan sulfate. These results show that cultured bovine keratocytes maintain the ability to express all three of the known KSPG proteins, modified with keratan sulfate chains and sulfated on both N-acetylglucosamine and galactose moieties. KSPG made in vitro differs from that found in vivo in the length and sulfation of its keratan sulfate chains. The availability of cell cultures secreting corneal keratan sulfate proteoglycans provides an opportunity to examine biosynthesis and control of this important class of molecules.[1]


  1. Synthesis of corneal keratan sulfate proteoglycans by bovine keratocytes in vitro. Funderburgh, J.L., Funderburgh, M.L., Mann, M.M., Prakash, S., Conrad, G.W. J. Biol. Chem. (1996) [Pubmed]
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