Age-related changes in protein-related epitopes of human articular-cartilage proteoglycans

T. T. Glant, K. Mikecz, P. J. Roughley, E. Buzás, A. R. Poole

Research output: Article

77 Citations (Scopus)


Monoclonal antibodies were prepared that recognize different age-related epitopes on proteoglycan subunits of high buoyant density isolated from human epiphysial and articular cartilages. Antibody EFG-4 (IgG1) recognizes a proteinase-sensitive segment associated with the core protein. Antibody BCD-4 (IgG1) reacts with keratan sulphate bound to core protein. Both epitopes are minimally expressed in foetal cartilage and increase with age after birth to become maximally expressed in adult cartilage by about 30 years of age. In contrast, monoclonal antibody αHFPG-846 (IgM) recognizes a core-protein-related epitope that is maximally expressed in young foetal cartilage, declines up to birth and thereafter and is almost absent after about 30 years of age. Antibody αHFPG-846 was used to isolate by immuno-affinity chromatography two subpopulations of proteoglycan subunits from a 16-year-old-human cartilage proteoglycan subunit preparation. Only the antibody-unbound population showed a significant reaction with antibodies EGF-4 and BCD-4. The amino acid and carbohydrate compositions of these proteoglycan fractions were different, and one (antibody-bound) resembled those of foetal and the other (antibody-unbound) resembled those of adult proteoglycans isolated from 24-27 week-old-foetal and 52-56-year-old-adult cartilage respectively. These observations demonstrate that human cartilages contain at least two chemically and immunochemically distinct populations of proteoglycans, the proportions and content of which are age-dependent. It is likely that these populations represent the products of different genes, though their heterogeneity may be compounded by the result of different post-translation modifications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-75
Number of pages5
JournalBiochemical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - jan. 1 1986


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

Cite this