Expression of NG2/human melanoma proteoglycan in human adult articular chondrocytes

K S Midwood, D M Salter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

OBJECTIVE: NG2 is a transmembrane chondroitin sulfate (CS) rich proteoglycan originally identified in rats. It has recently been shown to be identical to human melanoma proteoglycan (HMPG). In rats NG2 has a limited distribution in adult tissues, being expressed predominantly by neuronal and glial cells whereas during development it is also expressed in developing mesenchyme including cartilage. NG2/HMPG has putative roles in interactions between glial and melanoma cells with extracellular matrix (ECM) molecules. This study was undertaken to assess whether NG2/HMPG was expressed by normal and osteoarthritic human articular chondrocytes.

DESIGN: Cryostat sections of human fetal knee joints and normal and osteoarthritic articular cartilage were immunostained with antibodies against rat NG2 (N143.8) and HMPG (M28B5, 9.2.27). Immunoprecipitation and Western blotting was carried out on protein extracts of chondrocytes from normal and osteoarthritic cartilage. Immunofluorescence of NG2 and potential ligands was carried out in vitro on cells from normal and osteoarthritic cartilage.

RESULTS: Fetal and both normal and osteoarthritic adult cartilage showed strong immunoreactivity for NG2/HMPG. Western blotting showed a smeared component of molecular weight greater than 400 kDa and a faint band at 250 kDa which became predominant upon digestion with chondroitinase ABC. Immunofluorescence of chondrocytes in vitro showed NG2 to be distributed in a punctate pattern without co-localization of actin or several ECM proteins including fibronectin and type VI collagen.

CONCLUSION: NG2/HMPG is expressed by human fetal and adult chondrocytes and in adult articular chondrocytes the core protein is chondroitin sulfated. The function of this molecular in human articular cartilage remains to be defined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-305
Number of pages9
JournalOsteoarthritis and Cartilage
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1998

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antigens
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cartilage, Articular
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chondrocytes
  • Electrophoresis, Agar Gel
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Melanoma
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee
  • Precipitin Tests
  • Proteoglycans


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