Indexed on: 27 Jul '12Published on: 27 Jul '12Published in: Journal of Cell Communication and Signaling
CCN2/connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) is a matricellular protein essential for skeletal development during embryogenesis. In adulthood, aberrant CCN2 expression is associated with many malignancies and fibrosis of virtually every organ. Despite its prominent expression in endothelial cells in the vasculature, the role of CCN2 in vessel development was unknown. In a recent study, Hall-Glenn et al. (PLoS ONE 7:e30562) have revealed the role of CCN2 in developmental angiogenesis through a detailed analysis of how CCN2 mediates the interaction between vascular endothelial cells and pericytes. In addition, CCN2 also regulates endothelial basement membrane formation during vessel formation. Here I compare the angiogenic activities of CCN2 during embryogenesis to those of its homologous family member CCN1 (CYR61), which is essential for cardiovascular development. Understanding the angiogenic actions of CCN1 and CCN2 may have implication in the development of therapeutic strategies targeting these proteins for the treatment of diseases such as cancer and fibrosis.