Integrity of the pericellular fibronectin matrix of fibroblasts is independent of sulfated glycosaminoglycans.

K. Hedman, T. Vartio, S. Johansson, L. Kjellén, M. Höök, A. Linker, E. M. Salonen, A. Vaheri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The pericellular matrix fibers of cultured human fibroblasts contain fibronectin, other glycoproteins, and heparan and chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans. In the present study, cell-free pericellular matrices were isolated from metabolically labeled fibroblast cultures. The isolated matrices were digested with heparinase from Flavobacterium heparinum, and then analyzed for sulfated glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). Nitrous acid degradation was used to distinguish the N-sulfated GAGs (heparan sulfate) from chondroitin sulfate. Fibronectin and the other major matrix polypeptides were studied using gel electrophoresis, enzyme immunoassay and immunofluorescence. Upon heparinase digestion, greater than 95% of sulfated GAGs were degraded in the matrix without detectable release of fibronectin or other matrix polypeptides or alteration of the fibrillar matrix structure. We conclude that in fibroblast cultures the integrity of the fibrillar matrix is independent of sulfated GAGs. Together with earlier observations, this suggests that filamentous polymerization of fibronectin forms the backbone of early connective tissue matrix.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)581-584
Number of pages4
JournalThe EMBO journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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