Biosynthesis and cell-free translation of swarm rat chondrosarcoma and bovine cartilage link proteins

T. M. Hering, L. J. Sandell

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In cartilage, link protein(s) (LP) stabilize proteoglycan aggregates via their specific association with hyaluronic acid and proteoglycan monomers. Two major link glycoproteins are produced in bovine articular cartilage, designated LP1 (49.5 kDa) and LP2 (44.0 kDa), whereas rat chondrosarcoma produces a single link protein species similar in size to bovine LP2. Although multiple link proteins differ to a significant degree in carbohydrate content, it is not known whether they arise from variable glycosylation of a single common protein core or from complete glycosylation of different protein cores. Biosynthesis of these molecules has been studied under conditions where differences generated by N-linked glycosylated would not be evident. Link proteins were immunoprecipitated 1) from cell-free translation products of total cellular and size fractionated RNA and 2) from cell lysates and medium of cultured chondrocytes using short term radioactive labeling of the protein in the presence and absence of tunicamycin. A 42-kDa link protein precursor is synthesized by cell-free translation of either rat chondrosarcoma or bovine chondrocyte mRNA. An apparently single 41.5-kDa link protein is synthesized with inhibition of N-linked glycosylation by tunicamycin, whereas LP1 and LP2 are the mature products of cultured bovine chondrocytes. The size range of translatable rat chondrosarcoma LP mRNA is 4.0-5.5 kilobase pairs and bovine LP mRNA 3.0-4.5 kilobase pairs, both much larger than required to encode the link protein molecule. These results suggest that a single link protein precursor give rise to multiple fully glycosylated forms and that link protein is not synthesized as a significantly larger 'pro' form.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1030-1036
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1988


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