Proteomic characterization of human normal articular chondrocytes: a novel tool for the study of osteoarthritis and other rheumatic diseases

Proteomics. 2005 Aug;5(12):3048-59. doi: 10.1002/pmic.200402106.


Articular cartilage is composed of cells and an extracellular matrix. The chondrocyte is the only cell type present in mature cartilage, and it is important in the control of cartilage integrity. There is currently a great lack of knowledge about the chondrocyte proteome. To solve this deficiency, we have obtained the first reference map of the human normal articular chondrocyte. Cells were isolated from cartilages obtained from autopsies without history of joint disease. Cultured cells were used to obtain protein extracts which were resolved by 2-DE and visualized by silver nitrate or CBB staining. Almost 200 spots were excised from the gels and analyzed using MALDI-TOF or MALDI-TOF/TOF MS. The analysis leads to the identification of 136 spots that represent 93 different proteins. A significant proportion of proteins are involved in cell organization (26%), energy (16%), protein fate (14%), metabolism (12%), and cell stress (12%). From all the identified proteins, annexins, vimentin, transgelin, destrin, cathepsin D, heat shock protein 47, and mitochondrial superoxide dismutase were more abundant in chondrocytes than in other types of mesenchymal cells such as Jurkat-T cells. As metabolic program of chondrocytes is altered in osteoarthritis and other rheumatic diseases, this proteomic map is an important tool for future studies on these pathologies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Autopsy
  • Cartilage / metabolism
  • Cartilage, Articular / metabolism*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chondrocytes / cytology
  • Chondrocytes / metabolism
  • Databases, Protein
  • Electrophoresis, Gel, Two-Dimensional
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Joints / metabolism
  • Jurkat Cells
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis / metabolism*
  • Peptide Mapping
  • Proteome
  • Proteomics / methods*
  • Rheumatic Diseases / metabolism*
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization


  • Proteome