Chondromodulin-I (CHM1) was identified recently as an angiogenesis inhibitor in cartilage. It is highly expressed in the avascular zones of cartilage but is absent in the late hypertrophic region, which is invaded by blood vessels during enchondral ossification. Blast searches with the C-terminal part of CHM1 in available databases led to the identification of human and mouse cDNAs encoding a new protein, Tendin, that shares high homology with CHM1. Based on computer predictions, Tendin is a type II transmembrane protein containing a putative proteinase cleavage and two glycosylation sites. Northern assays with mouse RNAs demonstrated strong expression of a 1.5-kb tendin transcript in the diaphragm, skeletal muscle, and the eye and low levels of expression in all other tissues investigated. In 17.5-day-old mouse embryos, in situ hybridization revealed high levels of tendin transcript in tendons and ligaments. Additional signals were detected in brain and spinal cord, liver, lung, bowels, thymus, and eye. Cartilage, where CHM1 is found, revealed low levels of tendin m-RNA. In adult mice, tendin is expressed in neurons of all brain regions and the spinal cord. The tendin gene is localized in the human Xq22 region, to which several human diseases have been mapped.
Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.