Chondrocytes of the growth plate are differentiating cells. Their evolution leads to matrix vesicle formation and to cartilage mineralization. This is an in vitro study of the plasma membrane of Chondrocytes at two differentiation stages. Differences in protein and glycoprotein components, increased membrane fluidity, and responsiveness to PTH indicate that hypertrophic ("ossifying") Chondrocytes possess a plasma membrane widely different from that of resting Chondrocytes. Their plasma membrane is particularly enriched in alkaline phosphatase (Mr 70K). Purified matrix vesicles contain the 70K form of alkaline phosphatase, but a 50K species is also detectable, a signal of degradative process. In fact, proteins and glycoproteins of matrix vesicles are less numerous than those of cell plasma membranes. It is suggested that, in vivo, matrix vesicle formation may be mediated by Ca2+-activated neutral proteases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology