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Gene Review

CTGF  -  connective tissue growth factor

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Disease relevance of CTGF


High impact information on CTGF

  • Direct exposure of rat mesangial cells to AGEs in vitro significantly induced increases in fibronectin and Col IV production, which could be completely prevented by pretreatment with anti-CTGF antibody [1].
  • By digestion of the immobilized VEGF(165).CTGF complex with MMP-3 or MMP-7, both NH(2)- and COOH-terminal fragments of CTGF were dissociated and released from the complex into the liquid phase [3].
  • VEGF-induced CTGF expression was mediated primarily by PI3-kinase activation, whereas PKC and ERK pathways made only minimal contributions [4].
  • In two microvessel endothelial cells, mRNA was found at low levels by PCR and Northern analysis, but no CTGF protein was seen on Western analysis [5].
  • Media from large vessel endothelial cells (pulmonary artery, aorta) contained intact connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) and a dominant 19-kDa band [5].

Biological context of CTGF

  • Regulation of connective tissue growth factor (CTGF/CCN2) gene transcription and mRNA stability in smooth muscle cells. Involvement of RhoA GTPase and p38 MAP kinase and sensitivity to actin dynamics [6].
  • The results indicate that CTGF suppresses the synthesis of biglycan but newly induced that of decorin in the cells when the cell density is low; in addition, no change was observed in the hydrodynamic size and the glycosaminoglycan chain length of these two small chondroitin/dermatan sulfate proteoglycans [7].
  • Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF/CCN2) is an immediate early gene-encoded polypeptide modulating cell growth and collagen synthesis [6].
  • Furthermore, overexpression of constitutive active Akt was sufficient to induce CTGF gene expression, and inhibition of Akt activation by overexpressing dominant negative mutant of Akt abolished the VEGF-induced CTGF expression [4].
  • Treatment of dental epithelial and mesenchymal cells in culture with recombinant CTGF stimulated cell proliferation, whereas treatment with neutralizing antibodies inhibited it [8].

Anatomical context of CTGF

  • Since TGF-beta regulates endothelial proteoglycan synthesis in a cell density-dependent manner, dense and sparse cultures of bovine aortic endothelial cells were metabolically labeled with [(35)S]sulfate or (35)S-labeled amino acids in the presence of CTGF, and the labeled proteoglycans were characterized by biochemical techniques [7].
  • These data indicate that distinct cytoskeletally based signaling events within the intracellular signaling machinery affect either transcriptionally or post-transcriptionally the expression of the CTGF/CCN2 gene in smooth muscle cells [6].
  • In particular, RhoA-dependent regulation of the CTGF/CCN2 gene was concomitant to increased polymerization of actin microfilaments resulting in decreased G- to F-actin ratio and appeared to be achieved at the transcriptional level [6].
  • In our study, VEGF increased CTGF mRNA levels in a time- and concentration-dependent manner in bovine retinal endothelial cells and pericytes, without the need of new protein synthesis and without altering mRNA stability [4].
  • Loss-of-function studies using CTGF neutralizing antibodies revealed that interference with endogenous factor action in tooth germ explants led to a severe inhibition of proliferation in both epithelium and mesenchyme and a marked delay in cytodifferentiation of ameloblasts and odontoblasts [8].

Associations of CTGF with chemical compounds

  • Incubation with the bioactive lysolipid sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) produced a threefold increase, whereas stimulation with either fetal bovine serum or anisomycin induced an even stronger activation (eightfold) of CTGF/CCN2 expression [6].
  • Dexamethasone decreased GM-CSF-induced TbetaR-I, TbetaR-II, TbetaR-III, pSmad2, CTGF, collagen I, and fibronectin [9].
  • Interleukin 1beta, transforming growth factor beta and connective tissue growth factor were all up-regulated by low oxygen tensions, as was beta1 integrin [10].

Other interactions of CTGF


Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of CTGF

  • Northern blot analysis revealed that CTGF was strongly expressed in chondrocytic cells as well as bovine aorta endothelial (BAE) cells in culture, but not in other types of cells such as osteoblastic cells [12].
  • Immunohistochemical and immunofluorescence techniques revealed that not only hypertrophic chondrocytes but also endothelial cells in the cost-chondral junctions of mouse ribs were stained with an anti-CTGF antibody in vivo [12].


  1. Advanced glycation end-products induce connective tissue growth factor-mediated renal fibrosis predominantly through transforming growth factor beta-independent pathway. Zhou, G., Li, C., Cai, L. Am. J. Pathol. (2004) [Pubmed]
  2. A role for connective tissue growth factor in the pathogenesis of choroidal neovascularization. He, S., Jin, M.L., Worpel, V., Hinton, D.R. Arch. Ophthalmol. (2003) [Pubmed]
  3. Matrix metalloproteinases cleave connective tissue growth factor and reactivate angiogenic activity of vascular endothelial growth factor 165. Hashimoto, G., Inoki, I., Fujii, Y., Aoki, T., Ikeda, E., Okada, Y. J. Biol. Chem. (2002) [Pubmed]
  4. Vascular endothelial growth factor induces expression of connective tissue growth factor via KDR, Flt1, and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-akt-dependent pathways in retinal vascular cells. Suzuma, K., Naruse, K., Suzuma, I., Takahara, N., Ueki, K., Aiello, L.P., King, G.L. J. Biol. Chem. (2000) [Pubmed]
  5. Connective tissue growth factor (IGFBP-rP2) expression and regulation in cultured bovine endothelial cells. Boes, M., Dake, B.L., Booth, B.A., Erondu, N.E., Oh, Y., Hwa, V., Rosenfeld, R., Bar, R.S. Endocrinology (1999) [Pubmed]
  6. Regulation of connective tissue growth factor (CTGF/CCN2) gene transcription and mRNA stability in smooth muscle cells. Involvement of RhoA GTPase and p38 MAP kinase and sensitivity to actin dynamics. Chowdhury, I., Chaqour, B. Eur. J. Biochem. (2004) [Pubmed]
  7. Differential regulation of biglycan and decorin synthesis by connective tissue growth factor in cultured vascular endothelial cells. Kaji, T., Yamamoto, C., Oh-i, M., Nishida, T., Takigawa, M. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. (2004) [Pubmed]
  8. Expression, gene regulation, and roles of Fisp12/CTGF in developing tooth germs. Shimo, T., Wu, C., Billings, P.C., Piddington, R., Rosenbloom, J., Pacifici, M., Koyama, E. Dev. Dyn. (2002) [Pubmed]
  9. GM-CSF increases airway smooth muscle cell connective tissue expression by inducing TGF-beta receptors. Chen, G., Grotendorst, G., Eichholtz, T., Khalil, N. Am. J. Physiol. Lung Cell Mol. Physiol. (2003) [Pubmed]
  10. Modulation of bovine articular chondrocyte gene expression in vitro by oxygen tension. Grimshaw, M.J., Mason, R.M. Osteoarthr. Cartil. (2001) [Pubmed]
  11. Cyclic tensile strain and cyclic hydrostatic pressure differentially regulate expression of hypertrophic markers in primary chondrocytes. Wong, M., Siegrist, M., Goodwin, K. Bone (2003) [Pubmed]
  12. Inhibition of endogenous expression of connective tissue growth factor by its antisense oligonucleotide and antisense RNA suppresses proliferation and migration of vascular endothelial cells. Shimo, T., Nakanishi, T., Kimura, Y., Nishida, T., Ishizeki, K., Matsumura, T., Takigawa, M. J. Biochem. (1998) [Pubmed]
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