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Chondroitin sulfate N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase 1 (EC (CsGalNAcT-1) (Chondroitin beta-1,4-N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase 1) (Beta4GalNAcT-1) [CHGN] [GALNACT1] [UNQ656/PRO1287]


Alterations in the chondroitin sulfate chain in human osteoarthritic cartilage of the knee.

To determine whether the structure of chondroitin sulfate (CS) in cartilage is reflected by the degree of cartilage degeneration in patients with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee and to determine how CS biosynthesis affects cartilage degeneration. Two osteoarthritic cartilage samples were obtained from medial femoral condyle (MFC) and lateral femoral condyle (LFC) of 24 knees with end-stage OA. The samples were assigned to two groups as follows: lesion and remote cartilage were adjacent to and remote from the osteoarthritic cartilage, respectively. Histological grade was determined according to the Mankin score. The CS concentration and chain length were determined using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and gel filtration chromatography, respectively. Expression of the gene encoding CS glycosyltransferase was evaluated using a real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assay. These results were compared between lesion and remote cartilage. The Mankin score indicated that lesion cartilage was more degraded compared with remote cartilage. Although the CS levels varied among individuals, the mean CS concentration and chain length were significantly lower and shorter in lesion cartilage than in remote cartilage, respectively (concentration: 12.04 vs 14.84 μg/mg wet weight, P = 0.021; chain length: 5.36 vs 6.19 kDa, P = 0.026). Three genes encoding CS glycosyltransferases (CHPF, [[CSGALNACT1]], CSGALNACT2) were expressed at lower levels in lesion cartilage. In the osteoarthritic knee, the CS concentration and chain length were reduced closer to the more degraded cartilage with decreasing CS glycosyltransferase gene expression. Inhibition of CS glycosyltransferase gene expression may reduce CS chain length, which may contribute to OA progression.

MeSH Terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging
  • Cartilage, Articular
  • Chondrocytes
  • Chondroitin Sulfates
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic
  • Glycosyltransferases
  • Humans
  • Joint Deformities, Acquired
  • Knee Joint
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Weight
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Radiography


  • Cartilage
  • Chondrocyte
  • Chondroitin sulfate
  • Osteoarthritis