Biochemical studies on human corneal proteoglycans —a comparison of normal and keratoconic eyes

  • Joseph Wollensak
  • Eckhart Buddecke
Laboratory Investigations


Human corneas from normal (healthy) donors and patients with keratoconus were either metabolically labelled under organ culture conditions or investigated without preincubation. The sulfated proteoglycans were isolated from a 4M guanidinium chloride/2% Triton X 100 extract. Two predominant proteoglycans were obtained from normal cornea after digestion of total sulfated proteoglycans with chondroitin ABC-lyase or endo-β-galactosidase. One had an overall mass of 150 kDa, two dermatan sulfate chains (Mr≈50 kDa) with an iduronic acid content of 24%–28% and, after chondroitin ABC-lyase digestion, a core protein of 48 kDa. The other proteoglycan had an overall mass of 110 kDa, one keratan sulfate chain of ≈60 kDa and, following endo-β-galactosidase (keratanase) digestion, a core protein of 46 kDa. Each proteoglycan population was further fractionated into two subpopulations by chromatography on concanavalin A-Sepharose. The dermatan sulfateand keratan sulfate-containing proteoglycans isolated from keratoconic and healthy cornea had comparableMr values and core proteins with identical molecular weights, but the ratio of dermatan sulfate/keratan sulfate proteoglycan was increased in keratoconic cornea and the keratan sulfate chains of two keratan sulfate proteoglycans from keratoconic cornea were considerably shorter (Mr 44 and 33 kDa) than those from normal corneas.


Core Protein Sulfate Proteoglycan Dermatan Sulfate Keratoconus Keratan Sulfate 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph Wollensak
    • 1
  • Eckhart Buddecke
    • 1
  1. 1.Klinikum CharlottenburgAugenklinik der Freien UniversitätBerlin 19Germany

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