ABSTRACT: Chondroitin sulfate (CS) is a glycosaminoglycan, consisting of repeating disaccharide units of N-acetylgalactosamine and glucuronic acid residues, and plays important roles in development and homeostasis of organs and tissues. Here, we generated and analyzed mice lacking chondroitin sulfate N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase 1 (CSGalNAcT-1). Csgalnact1(-/-) mice were viable and fertile but exhibited slight dwarfism. Biochemically, the level of CS in Csgalnact1(-/-) cartilage was reduced to ∼50% that of wild-type cartilage, whereas its chain length was similar to wild-type mice, indicating that CSGalNAcT-1 participates in the CS chain initiation as suggested in the previous study (Sakai, K., Kimata, K., Sato, T., Gotoh, M., Narimatsu, H., Shinomiya, K., and Watanabe, H. (2007) J. Biol. Chem. 282, 4152-4161). Histologically, the growth plate of Csgalnact1(-/-) mice contained shorter and slightly disorganized chondrocyte columns with a reduced volume of the extracellular matrix principally in the proliferative layer. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that the level of both aggrecan and link protein 1 were decreased in Csgalnact1(-/-) cartilage. Western blot analysis demonstrated an increase in processed forms of aggrecan core protein. These results suggest that CSGalNAcT-1 is required for normal levels of CS biosynthesis in cartilage. Our observations suggest that CSGalNAcT-1 is necessary for normal levels of endochondral ossification, and the decrease in CS amount in the growth plate by its absence causes a rapid catabolism of aggrecan.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 02/2011; 286(7):5803-12. · 4.77 Impact Factor