The basement membrane heparan sulfate proteoglycan produced by the Englebreth-Holm-Swarm (EHS) tumor and by glomeruli were compared by immunological methods. Antibodies to the EHS proteoglycan immunoprecipitated a single precursor protein (Mr = 400,000) from [35S]methionine-pulsed glomeruli, the same size produced by EHS cells. These antibodies detected both heparan sulfate proteoglycans and glycoproteins in extracts of unlabeled glomeruli and glomerular basement membrane. The proteoglycans contained core proteins of varying size (Mr = 150,000 to 400,000) with a Mr = 250,000 species being predominant. The glycoproteins are fragments of the core protein which lack heparan sulfate side chains. Antibodies to glomerular basement membrane proteoglycan immunoprecipitated the precursor protein (Mr = 400,000) synthesized by EHS cells and also reacted with most of the proteolytic fragments of the EHS proteoglycan. This antibody did not, however, react with the P44 fragment, a peptide situated at one end of the EHS proteoglycan core protein. These data suggest that the glomerular basement membrane proteoglycan is synthesized from a large precursor protein which undergoes specific proteolytic processing.

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