Matrilin 1, or cartilage matrix protein, is a member of a novel family of extracellular matrix proteins. To date, four members of the family have been identified, but their biological role is unknown. Matrilin 1 and matrilin 3 are expressed in cartilage, while matrilin 2 and matrilin 4 are present in many tissues. Here we describe the generation and analysis of mice carrying a null mutation in the Crtm gene encoding matrilin 1. Anatomical and histological studies demonstrated normal development of homozygous mutant mice. Northern blot and biochemical analyses show no compensatory up-regulation of matrilin 2 or 3 in the cartilage of knockout mice. Although matrilin 1 interacts with the collagen II and aggrecan networks of cartilage, suggesting that it may play a role in cartilage tissue organization, studies of collagen extractability indicated that collagen fibril maturation and covalent cross-linking were unaffected by the absence of matrilin 1. Ultrastructural analysis did not reveal any abnormalities of matrix organization. These data suggest that matrilin 1 is not critically required for cartilage structure and function and that matrilin 1 and matrilin 3 may have functionally redundant roles.
Normal skeletal development of mice lacking matrilin 1: redundant function of matrilins in cartilage? / ASZÓDI A ;BATEMAN JF ;HIRSCH E ;BARANYI M ;HUNZIKER EB ;HAUSER N ;BÖSZE Z ;FÄSSLER R. - In: MOLECULAR AND CELLULAR BIOLOGY. - ISSN 0270-7306. - STAMPA. - 19(1999), pp. 7841-7845.