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(1/98) Identification and cloning of a connective tissue growth factor-like cDNA from human osteoblasts encoding a novel regulator of osteoblast functions.

We have identified and cloned a novel connective tissue growth factor-like (CTGF-L) cDNA from primary human osteoblast cells encoding a 250-amino acid single chain polypeptide. Murine CTGF-L cDNA, encoding a polypeptide of 251 amino acids, was obtained from a murine lung cDNA library. CTGF-L protein bears significant identity ( approximately 60%) to the CCN (CTGF, Cef10/Cyr61, Nov) family of proteins. CTGF-L is composed of three distinct domains, an insulin-like growth factor binding domain, a von Willebrand Factor type C motif, and a thrombospondin type I repeat. However, unlike CTGF, CTGF-L lacks the C-terminal domain implicated in dimerization and heparin binding. CTGF-L mRNA ( approximately 1.3 kilobases) is expressed in primary human osteoblasts, fibroblasts, ovary, testes, and heart, and a approximately 26-kDa protein is secreted from primary human osteoblasts and fibroblasts. In situ hybridization indicates high expression in osteoblasts forming bone, discrete alkaline phosphatase positive bone marrow cells, and chondrocytes. Specific binding of 125I-labeled insulin-like growth factors to CTGF-L was demonstrated by ligand Western blotting and cross-linking experiments. Recombinant human CTGF-L promotes the adhesion of osteoblast cells and inhibits the binding of fibrinogen to integrin receptors. In addition, recombinant human CTGF-L inhibits osteocalcin production in rat osteoblast-like Ros 17/2.8 cells. Taken together, these results suggest that CTGF-L may play an important role in modulating bone turnover.  (+info)

(2/98) A novel putative low-affinity insulin-like growth factor-binding protein, LIBC (lost in inflammatory breast cancer), and RhoC GTPase correlate with the inflammatory breast cancer phenotype.

Inflammatory breast cancer is a rapidly growing, distinct form of locally advanced breast cancer that carries a guarded prognosis. To identify the genes that contribute to this aggressive phenotype, we compared under- and overexpressed sequences in an inflammatory breast tumor cell line with those of actively replicating normal human mammary epithelial cell lines using differential display. Of the 17 transcripts isolated and characterized from these experiments, overexpression of RhoC GTPase and loss of expression of a novel gene on 6q22, LIBC (lost in inflammatory breast cancer), were highly correlated (P<0.0095 and P<0.0013, respectively) with the inflammatory phenotype when a panel of archival inflammatory breast cancers was compared with noninflammatory stage III breast cancers by in situ hybridization. This study suggests two new molecular markers specific for inflammatory breast cancer.  (+info)

(3/98) WISP-1 is a Wnt-1- and beta-catenin-responsive oncogene.

WISP-1 (Wnt-1 induced secreted protein 1) is a member of the CCN family of growth factors. This study identifies WISP-1 as a beta-catenin-regulated gene that can contribute to tumorigenesis. The promoter of WISP-1 was cloned and shown to be activated by both Wnt-1 and beta-catenin expression. TCF/LEF sites played a minor role, whereas the CREB site played an important role in this transcriptional activation. WISP-1 demonstrated oncogenic activities; overexpression of WISP-1 in normal rat kidney fibroblast cells (NRK-49F) induced morphological transformation, accelerated cell growth, and enhanced saturation density. Although these cells did not acquire anchorage-independent growth in soft agar, they readily formed tumors in nude mice, suggesting that appropriate cellular attachment is important for signaling oncogenic events downstream of WISP-1.  (+info)

(4/98) N-myc downstream-regulated gene 1 is mutated in hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy-Lom.

Hereditary motor and sensory neuropathies, to which Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease belongs, are a common cause of disability in adulthood. Growing awareness that axonal loss, rather than demyelination per se, is responsible for the neurological deficit in demyelinating CMT disease has focused research on the mechanisms of early development, cell differentiation, and cell-cell interactions in the peripheral nervous system. Autosomal recessive peripheral neuropathies are relatively rare but are clinically more severe than autosomal dominant forms of CMT, and understanding their molecular basis may provide a new perspective on these mechanisms. Here we report the identification of the gene responsible for hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy-Lom (HMSNL). HMSNL shows features of Schwann-cell dysfunction and a concomitant early axonal involvement, suggesting that impaired axon-glia interactions play a major role in its pathogenesis. The gene was previously mapped to 8q24.3, where conserved disease haplotypes suggested genetic homogeneity and a single founder mutation. We have reduced the HMSNL interval to 200 kb and have characterized it by means of large-scale genomic sequencing. Sequence analysis of two genes located in the critical region identified the founder HMSNL mutation: a premature-termination codon at position 148 of the N-myc downstream-regulated gene 1 (NDRG1). NDRG1 is ubiquitously expressed and has been proposed to play a role in growth arrest and cell differentiation, possibly as a signaling protein shuttling between the cytoplasm and the nucleus. We have studied expression in peripheral nerve and have detected particularly high levels in the Schwann cell. Taken together, these findings point to NDRG1 having a role in the peripheral nervous system, possibly in the Schwann-cell signaling necessary for axonal survival.  (+info)

(5/98) A novel variant of WISP1 lacking a Von Willebrand type C module overexpressed in scirrhous gastric carcinoma.

Scirrhous carcinoma of the stomach is characterized by rapid growth with a vast fibrous stroma, high invasiveness, and substantially a poor prognosis. Little is known of the molecular pathogenesis of this disease. Members of the emerging family of the CCN gene (for connective tissue growth factor, cysteine-rich 61, nephroblastoma overexpressed) encode cysteine-rich secreted proteins with roles in human fibrotic disorders and cancer progression. Using targeted differential displays, we identified a novel variant of the CCN family member WISP1 (Wnt-induced secreted protein 1), named WISP1v, as overexpressed in scirrhous gastric carcinomas. Predicted protein of the WISP1v completely lacks a module of Von Willebrand type C that is thought to participate in protein complex formation. Ectopic expression revealed WISP1v to be a secreted oncoprotein inducing a striking cellular transformation and rapid piling-up growth. It is noteworthy that WISP1v transfectants enhanced the invasive phenotype of co-cultured gastric carcinoma cells, while wild-type WISP1 had no such potential. These findings suggest that CCN protein WISP1v is involved in the aggressive progression of scirrhous gastric carcinoma.  (+info)

(6/98) WISP-1 binds to decorin and biglycan.

Wnt-1-induced secreted protein 1 (WISP-1) is a member of the CCN (connective tissue growth factor, Cyr61, NOV) family of growth factors. Structural and experimental evidence suggests that CCN family member activities are modulated by their interaction with sulfated glycoconjugates. To elucidate the mechanism of action for WISP-1, we characterized the specificity of its tissue and cellular interaction and identified binding factors. WISP-1 binding was restricted to the stroma of colon tumors and to cells with a fibroblastic phenotype. By using a solid phase assay, we showed that human skin fibroblast conditioned media contained WISP-1 binding factors. Competitive inhibition with different glycosaminoglycans and treatment with glycosaminoglycan lyases and proteases demonstrated that binding to the conditioned media was mediated by dermatan sulfate proteoglycans. Mass spectrometric analysis identified the isolated binding factors as decorin and biglycan. Decorin and biglycan interacted directly with WISP-1 and inhibited its binding to components in the conditioned media. Similarly, WISP-1 interaction with human skin fibroblasts was inhibited by dermatan sulfate, decorin, and biglycan or by treatment of the cell surface with dermatan sulfate-specific lyases. Together these results demonstrate that decorin and biglycan are WISP-1 binding factors that can mediate and modulate its interaction with the surface of fibroblasts. We propose that this specific interaction plays a role in the regulation of WISP-1 function.  (+info)

(7/98) COL11A1 in FAP polyps and in sporadic colorectal tumors.

BACKGROUND: We previously reported that the alpha-1 chain of type 11 collagen (COL11A1), not normally expressed in the colon, was up-regulated in stromal fibroblasts in most sporadic colorectal carcinomas. Patients with germline mutations in the APC gene show, besides colonic polyposis, symptoms of stromal fibroblast involvement, which could be related to COL11A1 expression. Most colorectal carcinomas are suggested to be a result of an activated Wnt- pathway, most often involving an inactivation of the APC gene or activation of beta-catenin. METHODS: We used normal and polyp tissue samples from one FAP patient and a set of 37 sporadic colorectal carcinomas to find out if the up-regulation of COL11A1 was associated with an active APC/beta-catenin pathway. RESULTS: In this study we found a statistically significant difference in COL11A1 expression between normal tissue and adenomas from one FAP patient, and all adenomas gave evidence for an active APC/beta-catenin pathway. An active Wnt pathway has been suggested to involve stromal expression of WISP-1. We found a strong correlation between WISP-1 and COL11A1 expression in sporadic carcinomas. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that expression of COL11A1 in colorectal tumors could be associated with the APC/beta-catenin pathway in FAP and sporadic colorectal cancer.  (+info)

(8/98) Elevated levels of connective tissue growth factor, WISP-1, and CYR61 in primary breast cancers associated with more advanced features.

To gain insight into the role of the CCN genes in human breast carcinomas, we quantified connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), WISP-1, CYR61, and human NOV (NOVH) mRNA expression levels in samples from 44 primary breast tumors and seven normal breasts using quantitative real-time PCR assay. Overexpression of CTGF, WISP-1, CYR61, and NOVH was found in 55 (24 of 44), 46 (20 of 44), 39 (17 of 44), and 11% (5 of 44) primary breast tumors, respectively. Statistical univariate analysis was performed to explore the links between expression of the CCN genes and clinical and pathological parameters. Interestingly, significant associations were found between CTGF expression versus stage, tumor size, lymph node status, and age at diagnosis; WISP-1 mRNA levels versus stage, tumor size, lymph node, and HER-2/neu overexpression; and CYR61 expression with stage, tumor size, lymph node, age, and estrogen receptor expression. In contrast to CTGF, WISP-1, and CYR61, no significant correlation was found between NOVH expression and any of the clinical and pathological factors. Furthermore, multivariate classification tree model analysis showed that stage and lymph node involvement were important for predicting CTGF expression in breast cancers; the stage, age, and HER-2/neu status were key factors for WISP-1 expression; and the stage, age, and estrogen receptor were valuable predictors for CYR61 expression. In summary, these results suggest that CTGF, WISP-1, and CYR61 may play a role in the progression of breast cancer and might serve as a valuable tool for monitoring tumor status of breast cancer patients.  (+info)