Calcified Tissue International

, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 75–82 | Cite as

Effect of proteoglycans on in vitro hydroxyapatite formation

  • N. C. Blumenthal
  • A. S. Posner
  • L. D. Silverman
  • L. C. Rosenberg
Laboratory Investigations


Well-characterized bovine nasal proteoglycan A1 fraction (aggregate) and proteoglycan D1 fraction (subunit) have been shown to be effective inhibitors of hydroxyapatite (HA) formation in two in vitro test systems: (a) the transformation of amorphous calcium phosphate (ACP) to crystalline HA, and, (b) the direct precipitation of HA from low-concentration calcium phosphate solutions. A1 or D1 in solution slowed the transformation kinetics in system (a) without affecting the time to the onset of conversion. In system (b), A1 or D1 in solution increased the time to the onset of HA formation without affecting the HA formation kinetics. In both test systems A1 was a more effective inhibitor than D1, although the difference was not great. In both systems the inhibitory effect was proportional to the A1 or D1 solution concentration. The action of solutions of low and high molecular weight neutral dextrans on both test systems showed that high molecular weight and/or extended spatial molecular conformation has a much stronger correlation with inhibitory ability than solution viscosity. Proteoglycans have been implicated as playing a role in regulating biological mineralization particularly in the epiphyseal growth plate. Our study suggests that just enzymatic cleavage of aggregate into subunit is not sufficient to allow mineralization to occur, since we find that D1 itself is a potent inhibitor of HA formation. Further degradation and/or removal of D1 appears to be necessary for calcification to take place.

Key words

Proteoglycans Hydroxyapatite Amorphous calcium phosphate Nucleation Calcification 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. C. Blumenthal
    • 1
  • A. S. Posner
    • 1
  • L. D. Silverman
    • 1
  • L. C. Rosenberg
    • 2
  1. 1.Hospital For Special SurgeryCornell University Medical CollegeNew York
  2. 2.Montefiore HospitalAlbert Einstein College of MedicineBronx

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