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Dev Growth Differ. 2009 Jan;51(1):55-67. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-169X.2009.01077.x.

Role of CCN, a vertebrate specific gene family, in development.

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  • 1Oral Pathology, Graduate School of Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo, Japan. katsube.mpa@tmd.ac.jp

Abstract

The CCN family of genes constitutes six members of small secreted cysteine rich proteins, which exists only in vertebrates. The major members of CCN are CCN1 (Cyr61), CCN2 (CTGF), and CCN3 (Nov). CCN4, CCN5, and CCN6 were formerly reported to be in the Wisp family, but they are now integrated into CCN due to the resemblance of their four principal modules: insulin like growth factor binding protein, von Willebrand factor type C, thrombospondin type 1, and carboxy-terminal domain. CCNs show a wide and highly variable expression pattern in adult and in embryonic tissues, but most studies have focused on their principal role in osteo/chondrogenesis and vasculo/angiogenesis from the aspect of migration, growth, and differentiation of mesenchymal cells. CCN proteins simultaneously integrate and modulate the signals of integrins, bone morphogenetic protein, vascular endothelial growth factor, Wnt, and Notch by direct binding. However, the priority in the use of the signals is different depending on the cell status. Even the equivalent counterparts show a difference in signal usage among species. It may be that the evolution of the CCN family continues to keep pace with vertebrate evolution itself.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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