Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences CMLS

, Volume 58, Issue 12–13, pp 1842–1856 | Cite as

Neurocan: a brain chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan

  • U. Rauch
  • K. Feng
  • X.-H. Zhou

Abstract:

Neurocan is a chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan of the lectican family and a component of the extracellular matrix of the central nervous system. It is mainly expressed during modeling and remodeling stages of this tissue. Neurocan can bind to various structural extracellular matrix components, such as hyaluronan, heparin, tenascin-C and tenascin-R, and the growth and mobility factors FGF-2, HB-GAM, and amphoterin. Neurocan can also interact with several cell surface molecules, such as N-CAM, L1/Ng-CAM, TAG-1/axonin-1, and an N-cadherin-binding N-acetyl-galactosamine-phosphoryl-transferase, and in vitro studies have shown that neurocan is able to modulate the cell-binding and neurite outgrowth promoting activites of these molecules. Current analysis of the molecular structures and substructures involved in homophilic and heterophilic interactions of these molecules and complementary loss-of-function mutations might shed some light on the roles played by neurocan and interacting molecules in the fine tuning of the nervous system.

Key words: Neurocan; proteoglycan; brain; extracellular matrix; glycosaminoglycan; tenascin; neural cell adhesion molecule. 

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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • U. Rauch
    • 1
  • K. Feng
    • 1
  • X.-H. Zhou
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Experimental Pathology, Lund University, 22185 Lund (Sweden), Fax +46 46 158 202, e-mail: Uwe.Rauch@pat.lu.seSE

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