Versican is a proteoglycan that has many different roles in tissue homeostasis and inflammation. The biochemical structure comprises four different types of the core protein with attached glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) that can be sulfated to various extents and has the capacity to regulate differentiation of different cell types, migration, cell adhesion, proliferation, tissue stabilization and inflammation. Versican's regulatory properties are of importance during both homeostasis and changes that lead to disease progression. The GAGs that are attached to the core protein are of the chondroitin sulfate/dermatan sulfate type and are known to be important in inflammation through interactions with cytokines and growth factors. For a more complex understanding of versican, it is of importance to study the tissue niche, where the wound healing process in both healthy and diseased conditions take place. In previous studies, our group has identified changes in the amount of the multifaceted versican in chronic lung disorders such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome, which could be a result of pathologic, transforming growth factor β driven, on-going remodeling processes. Reversely, the context of versican in its niche is of great importance since versican has been reported to have a beneficial role in other contexts, e.g. emphysema. Here we explore the vast mechanisms of versican in healthy lung and in lung disorders.
Keywords: extracellular matrix; lung disorders; remodeling; versican.
© The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press.