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Matrix Biol. 1994 Mar;14(2):181-90.

The zonal expression of chicken cartilage matrix protein gene in the developing skeleton of transgenic mice.

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Institute for Animal Sciences, Agricultural Biotechnology Center, Gödöllö, Hungary.


Cartilage matrix protein (CMP) is a major noncollagenous glycoprotein of hyaline cartilage with a molecular mass of about 148 kDa. It has been proposed to be involved in matrix organization by its interactions with proteoglycan and type II collagen. The 54-kDa monomers form homotrimers stabilized by disulfide bonds. The gene for chicken cartilage matrix protein was isolated, and its regulation has been studied recently in transient expression experiments. To learn more about the spatial and temporal expression of the gene during ontogenic development, we created transgenic mice via microinjection of a 21.8-kb genomic fragment, encoding the chicken cartilage matrix protein. None of the founder animals exhibited any abnormal phenotype. The developmental stage-specific expression of the transgene was examined by immunostaining with a chicken CMP specific antiserum at different stages of embryonic development in cartilage from different sources: lower and upper limb, vertebrae, ribs and nasal septum. The level of transgene expression showed marked differences in various zones of cartilage. Briefly, high levels were found in the zones of proliferating chondrocytes, while little if any transgene product was detected in the very early and hypertrophic stage of chondrogenesis. The expression pattern of the transgene correlated with the endogenous mouse CMP and did not cause any morphological changes detectable by microscopic analysis of cartilage. These data indicate that the injected CMP gene with its flanking sequences contained all the information necessary for cell type-specific expression in transgenic mice.

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