Degradation of Hyaluronan and Its Disorder

  • Masaki Yanagishita
  • Katarzyna Anna Podyma-Inoue


Hyaluronan is distributed throughout extracellular matrices as an essential molecular component in animals (Hascall and Yanagishita 2007). It plays important biological roles in connective tissues, such as skin and articular cartilage, through its water-holding capacity and as a component of molecular scaffold. For example, hyaluronan is a major component of synovial fluid and is indispensable for the lubricating function, thus smooth mobility of the joint. It is also a major component of the vitreous fluid in the eye, maintaining necessary spherical shape of the eye. It has been demonstrated that the proper temporal and spacial production of hyaluronan is crucial during development for the proliferation, movement, and differentiation of cells and organogenesis. Hyaluronan is very actively metabolized in the body; of the total amount of approximately 15 g hyaluronan in a human with a body weight of 70 kg, about 5 g is degraded everyday, and the same amount replenished by biosynthesis (Stern 2004).


Articular Cartilage Sodium Formate Molecular Scaffold Important Biological Role Hyaluronidase Activity 
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Copyright information

© Springer 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masaki Yanagishita
    • 1
  • Katarzyna Anna Podyma-Inoue
    • 1
  1. 1.Biochemistry, Department of Hard Tissue Engineering, Graduate SchoolTokyo Medical and Dental UniversityTokyoJapan

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