PMID: 3124744Jan 1, 1988Paper

Binding of calcium to glycosaminoglycans: an equilibrium dialysis study

Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
G K HunterJ J Kim


Binding of calcium to the glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) heparin, chondroitin sulfate (CS), keratan sulfate (KS), and hyaluronic acid (HA) has been studied by equilibrium dialysis using exclusion of sulfate to correct for Gibbs-Donnan effects. Calcium binding occurs to all of these GAG species, suggesting that both sulfate and carboxylate groups are involved in cation binding. For all GAGs, the binding stoichiometry is consistent with a calcium-binding "site" consisting of two anionic groups. The order of calcium binding affinities is heparin greater than CS greater than KS greater than HA, and is critically dependent upon charge density; heparin binds calcium with 10-fold higher affinity than CS. The mode of calcium binding to GAGs is consistent with a recently proposed mechanism of growth plate calcification which states that cartilage proteoglycan functions as a reservoir of calcium for calcification of epiphyseal cartilage.


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