NOV (CCN3) regulation in the growth plate and CCN family member expression in cartilage neoplasia.
Growth plate chondrocytes undergo a coordinated differentiation process resulting in terminal differentiation and new bone formation. Enchondromas are pre-malignant, benign cartilaginous lesions that arise from growth plate chondrocytes that fail to undergo terminal differentiation. NOV (nephroblastoma overexpressed) is a member of the CCN family of proteins, which share a common multi-modular organization. While the role of NOV in chondrocyte development and cartilage neoplasia is not known, other CCN family members play a role in chondrocyte differentiation, or are differentially regulated in cartilage neoplasia. In embryonic murine growth plates, NOV was expressed in pre-hypertrophic and early hypertrophic chondrocytes. PTHrP treatment (which inhibits terminal differentiation) decreased NOV expression in murine femurs maintained in organ culture, and decreased the activity of a NOV reporter construct in vitro. Expression of the CCN family members NOV, CTGF, CYR61, and WISP-1 was examined in 15 chondrosarcomas of various grades and in three enchondromas. Expression of all of the family members was lower in the higher-grade tumours. As identification of the grade of cartilage neoplasia can sometimes be difficult using histology alone, the level of expression of CCN family members could be a useful adjunct in the determination of tumour grade.
Yu, C; Le, A-T; Yeger, H; Perbal, B; Alman, BA
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