A structural approach to the role of CCN (CYR61/CTGF/NOV) proteins in tumourigenesis

Cancer Cell Int. 2003 Aug 22;3(1):15. doi: 10.1186/1475-2867-3-15.


The CCN (CYR61 [Cystein-rich61]/CTGF [connective tissue growth factor]/NOV [Nephroblastoma overexpressed]) proteins constitute a family of regulatory factors involved in many aspects of cell proliferation and differentiation. An increasing body of evidence indicates that abnormal expression of the CCN proteins is associated to tumourgenesis. The multimodular architecture of the CCN proteins, and the production of truncated isoforms in tumours, raise interesting questions regarding the participation of each individual module to the various biological properties of these proteins. In this article, we review the current data regarding the involvement of CCN proteins in tumourigenesis. We also attempt to provide structural basis for the stimulatory and inhibitory functions of the full length and truncated CCN proteins that are expressed in various tumour tissues.