Proteoglycans of bone-marrow stromal cells and their extracellular matrix are important components of the microenvironment of haematopoietic tissues. Proteoglycans might also be involved in the interaction of haematopoietic stem and stromal cells. Recently, several studies have been reported on the proteoglycan synthesis of stromal cells, but little is known about the proteoglycan synthesis of haematopoietic stem or progenitor cells. Here we report on the isolation and characterization of proteoglycans from two haematopoietic progenitor cell lines, the murine FDCP-Mix A4 and the human TF-1 cell line. Proteoglycans were isolated from metabolically labelled cells and purified by several chromatographic steps, including anion-exchange and size-exclusion chromatography. Biochemical characterization was performed by electrophoresis or gel-filtration chromatography before and after digestion with glycosaminoglycan-specific enzymes or HNO2 treatment. Whereas FDCP-Mix A4 cells synthesize a homogeneous chondroitin 4-sulphate proteoglycan, isolation and characterization of proteoglycans from the human cell line TF-1 revealed, that TF-1 cells synthesize, in addition to a chondroitin sulphate proteoglycan, a heparan sulphate proteoglycan as major proteoglycan. For this heparan sulphate proteoglycan a core protein size of approx. 59 kDa was determined. Immunochemical analysis of this heparan sulphate proteoglycan revealed that it is not related to the syndecan family nor to glypican.

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