DCN consists of a core protein of ?40 kDa attached to a single chondroitin or dermatan sulfate glycosaminoglycan (GAG) chain. It interacts with collagen types I, II (Vogel et al. 1984), III (Witos et al. 2011), VI (Bidanset et al. 1992) and XIV (Ehnis et al. 1997).
DCN acts as a sink for all three isoforms of TGF-Beta, binding them while already bound to collagen (Markmann et al. 2000). Degradation of DCN by matrix metalloproteinases MMP2, 3 or 7 results in the release of TGF-beta (Imai et al. 1997). In addition, DCN binds to EGFR (Iozzo et al. 1999) causing prolonged down-regulation of EGFR-mediated mobilization of intracellular calcium (Csordás et al. 2000).