Chondroitin sulfate is a glycosaminoglycan that covalently binds proteins to form proteoglycans and is widely distributed in the extracellular matrix and cell surface of animal tissues. The glycochain consists of alternating polymerization of glucuronic acid and n-acetylgalactosamine, which is linked to the serine residue of the core protein through a glycolike junction.
Although the main chain structure of polysaccharides is not complex, it is highly heterogeneous in terms of the degree of sulfidation, the sulfate group, and the distribution of these two differences in the isomeric uronic acid chain. The fine structure of chondroitin sulfate determines its functional specificity and interaction with various protein molecules.
In medicine, the main application approach is as a drug for the treatment of joint diseases, which can be combined with glucosamine to relieve pain, promote cartilage regeneration, and fundamentally improve joint problems.
Randomized controlled clinical trials have shown that chondroitin sulfate can reduce pain in patients with osteoarthritis, improve joint function, reduce joint swelling and fluid accumulation, and prevent narrowing of joint Spaces in the knee and hand. It provides padding, alleviates shock and friction during action, absorbs water into proteoglycan molecules, thickens cartilage, and increases synovial fluid in joints. One of the important functions of chondroitin is to act as a conduit to deliver vital oxygen supply and nutrients to the joints, helping to remove waste from the joints, along with carbon dioxide and waste. Because the articular cartilage has no blood supply, all oxygenation, nutrition and lubrication comes from the synovial fluid.