FIGURE 9.34 • Hyaluronate (see Figure 7.33) forms the backbone of proteoglycan structures, such as those found in cartilage. The proteoglycan subunits consist of a core protein containing numerous O-linked and N-linked glycosaminoglycans. In cartilage, these highly hydrated proteoglycan structures are enmeshed in a network of collagen fibers. Release (and subsequent reabsorption) of water by these structures during compression accounts for the shock-absorbing qualities of cartilaginous tissue.
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