Proteoglycans

Metabolism and Pathology
  • Vincent C. Hascall
  • Dick K. Heinegård
  • Thomas N. Wight

Abstract

Proteoglycan metabolism in most cells is a highly regulated, dynamic process that contributes directly to cell and tissue functions. In many, perhaps most cases, PG metabolism is in steady state, i.e., biosynthesis of new molecules balances the catabolism of older molecules such that a constant concentration of PGs is maintained in a particular compartment over time. Cells in mature connective tissues devote a large proportion of their metabolic energy to PG synthesis. Chondrocytes, for example, can devote 5% or more of their total protein synthesis to making the core protein of aggrecan; and the subsequent assembly of the complex carbohydrate structures on the core protein requires dozens of enzymes and the formation of an average of more than 25,000 covalent bonds. Catabolism of PGs is also very active. The half-life of PGs in extracellular matrices can range from a few days to a few weeks, and cell surface PGs generally have half-lives of only a few hours. Changes in the metabolism and structure of PGs can have profound effects on the pathobiology of many diseases. This chapter, then, summarizes current concepts and problems relating to biosynthesis, catabolism, and pathology of PGs. The structures and functions of the major PGs described below are presented in detail in Chapter 2.

Keywords

Sugar Heparin Serine Osteoarthritis Cytosol 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vincent C. Hascall
    • 1
  • Dick K. Heinegård
    • 2
  • Thomas N. Wight
    • 3
  1. 1.National Institute of Dental ResearchNational Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Physiological ChemistryUniversity of LundLundSweden
  3. 3.Department of PathologyUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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