Isolation and characterization of matrix proteoglycans from human nasal cartilage. Compositional and structural comparison between normal and scoliotic tissues

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2002 Jan 15;1569(1-3):117-26. doi: 10.1016/s0304-4165(01)00242-2.


The content, types and the fine structures of proteoglycans (PGs) present in human normal nasal cartilage (HNNC) were investigated and compared with those in human scoliotic nasal cartilage (HSNC). Three PG types were identified in both HNNC and HSNC; the large-sized high buoyant density aggrecan, which is the predominant PG population, and the small-sized low buoyant density biglycan and decorin. HSNC contained a significantly higher amount of keratan sulfate (KS)-rich aggrecan (30%) of smaller hydrodynamic size as compared to HNNC. The average molecular sizes (M(r)s) of aggecan-derived chondroitin sulfate (CS) chains in both HNNC and HSNC were identical (18 kDa), but they significantly differ in disaccharide composition, since CS isolated from HSNC contained higher proportions of 6-sulfated disaccharides as compared to those from HNNC. Scoliotic tissue contained also higher amounts (67%) of the small PGs, biglycan and decorin as compared to HNNC. It is worth noticing that both normal and scoliotic human nasal cartilage contain also non-glycanated forms of decorin and biglycan. Dermatan sulfate (DS) was the predominant glycosaminoglycan (GAG) present on biglycan and decorin in both tissues. The small PGs-derived CS chains in both normal and scoliotic cartilage had the same M(r) (20 kDa), whereas DS chains from scoliotic cartilage were of greater M(r) (32 kDa) than those from normal cartilage (24 kDa). Furthermore, scoliotic tissue-derived DS chains contained higher amounts of iduronate (20%) as compared to those of normal cartilage (12%). Disaccharide analysis of small PGs showed that both HNNC and HSNC were rich in 4-sulfated disaccharides and in each case, the small size PGs contained a considerably higher proportion of 4-sulfated disaccharides than the aggrecan of the same tissue. The higher amounts of matrix PGs identified in scoliotic tissue as well as the differences in fine chemical composition of their GAG chains may reflect the modified architecture and functional failure of scoliotic tissue.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aggrecans
  • Biglycan
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cartilage / chemistry
  • Cartilage / metabolism*
  • Chromatography, Gel
  • Decorin
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism*
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins*
  • Glycosaminoglycans / analysis
  • Glycosaminoglycans / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Lectins, C-Type
  • Nasal Septum / metabolism*
  • Nasal Septum / pathology
  • Papain
  • Proteoglycans / analysis
  • Proteoglycans / chemistry
  • Proteoglycans / isolation & purification*


  • Aggrecans
  • BGN protein, human
  • Biglycan
  • DCN protein, human
  • Decorin
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins
  • Glycosaminoglycans
  • Lectins, C-Type
  • Proteoglycans
  • Papain