Proteoglycans are glycoconjugates which constitute a topic of current interest in biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology and medicine. They can no longer be considered, as they were a few years ago, as simple inert building blocks. Proteoglycans belong to a versatile protein family whose potential functions stem either from their glycosaminoglycan chains or from specific regions of their protein cores. They help maintain the essential microenvironment for cell adhesion, migration and proliferation through their ability to function as links between cells and the extracellular matrix, and as growth-factor binders. Their importance is gaining recognition in a wide spectrum of research areas such as the brain and reproduction. In this book, various newly researched aspects of proteoglycans are reviewed in a series of chapters written by well-known scientists involved in this exciting field of research.
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Table of ContentsProteoglycans: Introduction.- A brief history of proteoglycans.- Isolation and purification of proteoglycans.- Molecular cloning and analysis of the protein modules of aggrecans.- The link proteins.- Small proteoglycans.- Structure and biological functions of keratan sulfate proteoglycans.- Proteoglycans of basement membranes.- Nervous tissue proteoglycans.- Proteoglycans and hyaluronan in female reproductive organs.- Proteoglycans in male reproductive tract.- Altered proteoglycan gene expression and the tumor stroma.- Cytokines and proteoglycans.- Glycosaminoglycans, proteoglycans and aging.