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Brain Res. 2001 Feb 16;892(1):27-41.

Differential mRNA expression of the related extracellular matrix glycoproteins SC1 and SPARC in the rat embryonic nervous system and skeletal structure.

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  • 1Department of Zoology, University of Toronto at Scarborough, Ontario, Toronto, Canada M1C 1A4.


SPARC is a multifunctional extracellular matrix glycoprotein that shares partial sequence homology with SC1. These extracellular matrix molecules are thought to play important roles in modulating cellular interactions. In vitro, SPARC has been shown to exhibit anti-adhesive activity. In the present investigation, in situ hybridization is used to compare the expression patterns of SC1 and SPARC mRNA in the rat embryo. Results show that SC1 and SPARC expression is spatially and temporally regulated. SC1 mRNA is strongly expressed in the embryonic brain and spinal cord, whereas SPARC mRNA is enriched in craniofacial cartilage and skeletal structures. This differential expression pattern in the rat embryo suggests that SC1 plays an important role in the developing nervous system, whereas SPARC participates primarily in events associated with skeletal development. However at embryonic day 17, SC1 and SPARC mRNA show parallel expression patterns in areas of the cerebellum undergoing cell migratory events.

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