YKL-40 is a glycoprotein encoded by the CHI3L1 gene and is thought to play a role in inflammation and tissue remodeling. YKL-40 is involved in the local disease activity and pathophysiological process of osteoarthritis (OA), and is also an important molecule in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). YKL-40 is a potential biomarker for OA and RA, Creative BioMart Biomarker offers high quality detection service for YKL-40, ensuring high detection accuracy, sensitivity and efficiency for each sample.
YKL-40, also known as Chitinase-3-like protein 1 or human cartilage glycoprotein 39, is one of 18 glycosyl hydrolases and belongs to mammalian chitinase-like proteins, which contain a polypeptide chain of 383 amino acids. The crystal structure of human YKL-40 shows two globular domains, forming a groove corresponding to the active site of the protein. The name YKL-40 is derived from the single-letter code of its molecular weight (40kda) and its three N-terminal amino acids, which are Y (tyrosine), K (lysine) and L (leucine). YKL-40 can be secreted and released by several different types of cells in joint tissues, including macrophages, articular chondrocytes and synovial cells. YKL-40 may act as a lectin and exert a tissue remodeling function in tissues including articular cartilage. YKL-40 is a differentiation marker in chondrocytes and a major cellular protein in synovial cells, which can assist ECM self-repair during OA progression. YKL-40 inhibits the response of chondrocytes and synoviocytes to the inflammatory cytokines TNF-α and IL-1, thereby reducing the production of chemokines and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). Chemokines and MMPs play a key role in ECM destruction, that is, YKL-40 has a protective effect in the inflammatory environment, which limits the degradation of ECM and thus controls tissue damage. The expression level of YKL-40 is lower in normal human cartilage, but increased in both inflammatory and degenerative joint diseases, so YKL-40 may be a biomarker for cartilage turnover and synovitis. In addition, serum YKL-40 levels were significantly increased in patients with RA and OA, while YKL-40 levels were reduced in patients receiving disease treatment. At the same time, YKL-40 levels are associated with systemic inflammatory markers such as CRP, SAA and ESR. Therefore, YKL-40 may not only participate in the pathophysiological process of osteoarthritis, but also may reflect the local disease activity of joint cartilage degradation and synovial inflammation, and it is a useful biomarker for OA and RA.
Figure 1. Surface representation of the structures of native YKL-40 (a) and of YKL-40 in complex with chito-oligosaccharide (Fusetti, et al. 2003)
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