Perlecan is essential for cartilage and cephalic development.
Perlecan, a large, multi-domain, heparan sulfate proteoglycan originally identified in basement membrane, interacts with extracellular matrix proteins, growth factors and receptors, and influences cellular signalling. Perlecan is present in a variety of basement membranes and in other extracellular matrix structures. We have disrupted the gene encoding perlecan (Hspg2) in mice. Approximately 40% of Hspg2-/- mice died at embryonic day (E) 10.5 with defective cephalic development. The remaining Hspg2-/- mice died just after birth with skeletal dysplasia characterized by micromelia with broad and bowed long bones, narrow thorax and craniofacial abnormalities. Only 6% of Hspg2-/- mice developed both exencephaly and chondrodysplasia. Hspg2-/- cartilage showed severe disorganization of the columnar structures of chondrocytes and defective endochondral ossification. Hspg2-/- cartilage matrix contained reduced and disorganized collagen fibrils and glycosaminoglycans, suggesting that perlecan has an important role in matrix structure. In Hspg2-/- cartilage, proliferation of chondrocytes was reduced and the prehypertrophic zone was diminished. The abnormal phenotypes of the Hspg2-/- skeleton are similar to those of thanatophoric dysplasia (TD) type I, which is caused by activating mutations in FGFR3 (refs 7, 8, 9), and to those of Fgfr3 gain-of-function mice. Our findings suggest that these molecules affect similar signalling pathways.
SciCrunch is a data sharing and display platform. Anyone can create a custom portal where they can select searchable subsets of hundreds of data sources, brand their web pages and create their community. SciCrunch will push data updates automatically to all portals on a weekly basis. User communities can also add their own data to scicrunch, however this is not currently a free service.