Biglycan, a component of the extracellular matrix, is a protein found in many tissues but its biological function was unknown. In a study appearing online on July 14 in advance of print publication of the August 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Liliana Schaefer and colleagues from University of Muenster show that biglycan is an integral part of the innate immune system and a crucial proinflammatory factor.
The authors show that biglycan is released during inflammation and goes on to act as an endogenous ligand of Toll-like receptor 4 in macrophages, increasing the macrophage responses and leading to rapid activation of signaling events. The researchers also show that mice lacking biglycan have a considerable survival benefit in experimental sepsis.
Source: Eurekalert & othersLast reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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