Osteochondritis dissecans is a disorder in which fragments of articular cartilage and subchondral bone dislodge from the joint surface. We analyzed a five-generation family in which affected members had autosomal-dominant familial osteochondritis dissecans. A genome-wide linkage analysis identified aggrecan (ACAN) as a prime candidate gene for the disorder. Sequence analysis of ACAN revealed heterozygosity for a missense mutation (c.6907G > A) in affected individuals, resulting in a p.V2303M amino acid substitution in the aggrecan G3 domain C-type lectin, which mediates interactions with other proteins in the cartilage extracellular matrix. Binding studies with recombinant mutated and wild-type G3 proteins showed loss of fibulin-1, fibulin-2, and tenascin-R interactions for the V2303M protein. Mass spectrometric analyses of aggrecan purified from patient cartilage verified that V2303M aggrecan is produced and present in the tissue. Our results provide a molecular mechanism for the etiology of familial osteochondritis dissecans and show the importance of the aggrecan C-type lectin interactions for cartilage function in vivo.
MEDICIN OCH HÄLSOVETENSKAP -- Medicinska grundvetenskaper -- Medicinsk genetik (hsv//swe)
MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES -- Basic Medicine -- Medical Genetics (hsv//eng)