Quantitative proteomics at different depths in human articular cartilage reveals unique patterns of protein distribution.

Catharina Muller, Areej Khabut, Jayesh Dudhia, Finn P Reinholt, Anders Aspberg, Dick Heinegård, Patrik Önnerfjord

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The articular cartilage of synovial joints ensures friction-free mobility and attenuates mechanical impact on the joint during movement. These functions are mediated by the complex network of extracellular molecules characteristic for articular cartilage. Zonal differences in the extracellular matrix (ECM) are well recognized. However, knowledge about the precise molecular composition in the different zones remains limited. In the present study, we investigated the distribution of ECM molecules along the surface-to-bone axis, using quantitative non-targeted as well as targeted proteomics.\ In a discovery approach, iTRAQ mass spectrometry was used to identify all extractable ECM proteins in the different layers of a human lateral tibial plateau full thickness cartilage sample. A targeted MRM mass spectrometry approach was then applied to verify these findings and to extend the analysis to four medial tibial plateau samples. In the lateral tibial plateau sample, the unique distribution patterns of 70 ECM proteins were identified, revealing groups of proteins with a preferential distribution to the superficial, intermediate or deep regions of articular cartilage. The detailed analysis of selected 29 proteins confirmed these findings and revealed similar distribution patterns in the four medial tibial plateau samples. The results of this study allow, for the first time, an overview of the zonal distribution of a broad range of cartilage ECM proteins and open up further investigations of the functional roles of matrix proteins in the different zones of articular cartilage in health and disease.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-45
JournalMatrix Biology
Issue numberSep 1
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015.
The record was previously connected to the following departments: Lung Biology (013212002), Connective Tissue Biology (013230151)

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Rheumatology and Autoimmunity
  • Cell and Molecular Biology


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