Foulcer SJ, Day AJ, Apte SS. Isolation and purification of versican and analysis of versican proteolysis. Methods Mol Biol. 2015;1229:587-604. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-1714-3_46. PMID: 25325983
Versican is a widely distributed chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan that forms large complexes with the glycosaminoglycan hyaluronan (HA). As a consequence of HA binding to its receptor CD44 and interactions of the versican C-terminal globular (G3) domain with a variety of extracellular matrix proteins, versican is a key component of well-defined networks in pericellular matrix and extracellular matrix. It is crucial for several developmental processes in the embryo and there is increasing interest in its roles in cancer and inflammation. Versican proteolysis by ADAMTS proteases is highly regulated, occurs at specific peptide bonds, and is relevant to several physiological and disease mechanisms. In this chapter, methods are described for the isolation and detection of intact and cleaved versican in tissues using morphologic and biochemical techniques. These, together with the methodologies for purification and analysis of recombinant versican and a versican fragment provided here, are likely to facilitate further progress on the biology of versican and its proteolysis.