Hayes, A.J., Mitchell, R.E., Bashford, A., Reynolds, S., Caterson, B., and Hammond, C.L. (2013) Expression of glycosaminoglycan epitopes during zebrafish skeletogenesis. Developmental dynamics : an official publication of the American Association of Anatomists. 242(6):778-89.
Background: The zebrafish is an important developmental model. Surprisingly, there are few studies that describe the glycosaminoglycan composition of its extracellular matrix during skeletogenesis. Glycosaminoglycans on proteoglycans contribute to the material properties of musculo-skeletal connective tissues, and are important in regulating signalling events during morphogenesis. Sulfation motifs within the chain structure of glycosaminoglycans on cell-associated and extracellular matrix proteoglycans allow them to bind and regulate the sequestration/presentation of bioactive signalling molecules important in musculo-skeletal development. Results: We describe the spatio-temporal expression of different glycosaminoglycan moieties during zebrafish skeletogenesis with antibodies recognising (i) native sulfation motifs within chondroitin and keratan sulfate chains, and (ii) enzyme-generated neoepitope sequences within the chain structure of chondroitin sulfate (i.e. 0-, 4- and 6-sulfated isoforms) and heparan sulfate glycosaminoglycans. We show that all the glycosaminoglycan moieties investigated are expressed within the developing skeletal tissues of larval zebrafish. However, subtle changes in their patterns of spatio-temporal expression over the period examined, suggest that their expression is tightly and dynamically controlled during development. Conclusions: The subtle differences observed in the domains of expression between different glycosaminoglycan moieties suggest differences in their functional roles during establishment of the primitive analogues of the skeleton.