Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.
The replacement of a "cartilage model" by definitive bone is characterized by a series of localized excavations of the cartilage which are eventually followed by bone deposition. Each excavation requires lysis of cartilage components (defined here as the breakdown of a peptide bond) and their eventual resorption (defined here as microscopical visible cartilage loss). More precisely we have proposed that the lysis is affected by proteases capable of breaking down the main proteoglycan "aggrecan" and the main fibril element, "type II collagen". Four approaches combining biochemical, immunologic and microscopic techniques have been adapted to test this hypothesis. Each is applied to the rat tibial head's "cartilage model" where proteases have been shown to be major contributors to secondary ossification center formation. The approaches have been found both effective and distinct as cartilage resorbing enzymes have not only been identified but also detected in situ before and after activation. Achieved overall is an understanding of when, where and how specified proteases contribute to tissue component lyses. While the focus resides on the in situ proteolysis of cartilage, three of the approaches could be translated without change to other tissues, whereas one may require tissue specific adjustments before use.