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Keywords:

  • glycosaminoglycans;
  • proteoglycan;
  • brain development;
  • Alzheimer's disease

Abstract

Proteoglycans (PGs) are major components of the cell surface and extracellular matrix and play critical roles in development and maintenance of the central nervous system (CNS). PGs are a family of proteins, all of which contain a core protein to which glycosaminoglycan side chains are covalently attached. PGs possess diverse physiological roles, particularly in neural development, and are also implicated in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). The main functions of PGs in the CNS are reviewed as are the roles of PGs in brain injury and in the development or treatment of AD. © 2013 IUBMB Life, 65(2)108–120, 2013.