Radiation Induces Changes in Glycosaminoglycans of Endothelial Cells
Proteoglycans (PGs) are macromolecules found widely distributed in animal tissues principally in the extracellular matrix (ECM) and cell surface memebranes. A PG is a glycoprotein consisting of a protein core, linked to which are one or more sulphated polysaccharide chains, glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). We have observed that X-irradiation of bovine aortic endothelial cells in culture result in either changes in GAG production levels or molecular organization or both. A variety of techniques including chromatography and electrophoresis can be employed to elucidate structural changes in the GAGs, which may occur on irradiation of BAEC. In particular one type of GAG heparan sulphate, is under study and shows promise as a biological indicator of radiation induced damage to endothelial cells during radiotherapy.