Cartilage link protein interacts with neurocan, which shows hyaluronan binding characteristics different from CD44 and TSG-6

Uwe Rauch, Satoshi Hirakawa, Toshitaka Oohashi, Joachim Kappler, Gunnel Roos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


The interaction of neurocan with hyaluronan was qualitatively characterized with alkaline phosphatase fusion proteins secreted by mammalian cells. The wild type neurocan hyaluronan binding domain fused to alkaline phosphatase bound to immobilized hyaluronan under physiological as well as moderately hypertonic conditions, whereas its ability to bind to immobilized chondroitin sulfate dropped rapidly with increasing salt concentration. Strong hyaluronan binding ability was still evident when in both link modules within the hyaluronan binding domain a basic amino acid was mutated, which is well conserved among link modules of hyaluronan binding proteins. A strong enhancement of the binding of neurocan to immobilized hyaluronan was observed after preincubation of the immobilized hyaluronan with cartilage link protein. Moreover, this preincubation mediated also the binding of a fusion protein representing only the immunoglobulin module of neurocan linked to alkaline phosphatase, which showed no binding to immobilized hyaluronan alone. The interaction of the neurocan immunoglobulin module with link protein could also be shown by overlay blot analysis. These observations suggest that the hyaluronan binding characteristics of paired link modules are different from those of single link modules, and that the reported temporal co-expression of cartilage link protein and of neurocan in developing brain implicates the possibility of a cooperative function of these molecules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)629-639
Number of pages11
JournalMatrix Biology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2004


  • Hyaluronan
  • Link module
  • Link protein
  • Neurocan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology


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