Expression analysis of the novel gene collagen triple helix repeat containing-1 (Cthrc1)

Gene Expr Patterns. 2006 Oct;6(8):935-40. doi: 10.1016/j.modgep.2006.03.008. Epub 2006 Mar 17.


We recently identified collagen triple helix repeat containing-1 (Cthrc1) as a novel gene induced in adventitial fibroblasts after arterial injury. Cthrc1 is a 30 kDa secreted protein that has the ability to inhibit collagen matrix synthesis. Cthrc1 is also glycosylated and retains a signal sequence consistent with the presence of Cthrc1 in the extracellular space. In injured arteries and skin wounds, we have found Cthrc1 expression to be associated with myofibroblasts and sites of collagen matrix deposition. Furthermore, we demonstrated that Cthrc1 inhibits collagen matrix deposition in vitro. Using in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry, we characterized the expression domains of Cthrc1 during murine embryonic development and in postnatal tissues. In mouse embryos, Cthrc1 was expressed in the visceral endoderm, notochord, neural tube, developing kidney, and heart. Abundant expression of Cthrc1 was observed in the developing skeleton, i.e., in cartilage primordia, in growth plate cartilage with exclusion of the hypertrophic zone, in the bone matrix and periostium. Bones from adults showed expression of Cthrc1 only in the bone matrix and periostium while the articular cartilage lacked expression. Cthrc1 is typically expressed at epithelial-mesenchymal interfaces that include the epidermis and dermis, basal corneal epithelium, airway epithelium, esophagus epithelium, choroid plexus epithelium, and meninges. In the adult kidney, collecting ducts and distal tubuli expressed Cthrc1. Collectively, the sites of Cthrc1 expression overlap considerably with those reported for TGF-beta family members and interstitial collagens. The present study provides useful information towards the understanding of potential Cthrc1 functions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Bone and Bones / metabolism
  • Central Nervous System / metabolism
  • Collagen / metabolism
  • Embryo, Mammalian / metabolism
  • Embryonic Development / physiology
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Profiling*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Glycoproteins / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / metabolism


  • Cthrc1 protein, mouse
  • Cthrc1 protein, rat
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins
  • Glycoproteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Collagen