The effect of p-nitrophenyl-beta-D-xylopyranoside on glomerular extracellular matrices (glomerular basement membrane and mesangial matrix) proteoglycans was studied. The proteoglycans of rat kidneys were labeled with [35S]sulfate in the presence or absence of beta-xyloside (2.5 mM) by using an isolated organ perfusion system. The proteoglycans from the glomeruli and perfusion medium were isolated and characterized by Sepharose CL-6B chromatography and by their behavior in CsCl density gradients. With xyloside treatment there was a twofold decrease in 35S-labeled macromolecules in the tissues but a twofold increase in those recovered in the medium as compared with the control. The labeled proteoglycans extracted from control kidneys eluted as a single peak with Kav = 0.25 (Mr = approximately 130,000), and approximately 95% of the radioactivity was associated with heparan sulfate proteoglycan (HS-PG), the remainder with chondroitin (or dermatan) sulfate proteoglycan (CS-PG). In the xyloside-treated kidneys, the proteoglycans extracted from the tissue eluted as two peaks, Kav = 0.25 (Mr = approximately 130,000) and 0.41 (Mr = approximately 46,000), which contained approximately 40 and approximately 60% of the total radioactivity, respectively. The first peak contained mostly the HS-PG (approximately 90%) while the second peak had a mixture of HS-PG (approximately 70%) and CS-PG (approximately 30%). In controls, approximately 90% of the radioactivity, mostly HS-PG, was confined to high density fractions of a CsCl density gradient. In contrast, in xyloside experiments, both HS-PG and CS-PG were distributed in variable proportions throughout the gradient. The incorporated 35S activity in the medium of xyloside-treated kidneys was twice that of the controls and had three to four times the amount of free chondroitin (or dermatan) sulfate glycosaminoglycan chains. The data suggest that beta-xyloside inhibits the addition of de novo synthesized glycosaminoglycan chains onto the core protein of proteoglycans and at the same time stimulates the synthesis of chondroitin or dermatan sulfate chains which are mainly discharged into the perfusion medium.

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