Indexed on: 07 Feb '07Published on: 07 Feb '07Published in: International review of cytology
Our bones mostly develop through a process called endochondral ossification. This process is initiated in the cartilage prototype of each bone and continues through embryonic and postnatal development until the end of skeletal growth. Therefore, the central regulator of endochondral ossification is the director of body construction, which is, in other words, the determinant of skeletal size and shape. We suggest that CCN2/CTGF/Hcs24 (CCN2) is a molecule that conducts all of the procedures of endochondral ossification. CCN2, a member of the CCN family of novel modulator proteins, displays multiple functions by manipulating the local information network, using its conserved modules as an interface with a variety of other biomolecules. Under a precisely designed four-dimensional genetic program, CCN2 is produced from a limited population of chondrocytes and acts on all of the mesenchymal cells inside the bone callus to promote the integrated growth of the bone. Furthermore, the utility of CCN2 as regenerative therapeutics against connective tissue disorders, such as bone and cartilage defects and osteoarthritis, has been suggested. Over the years, the pathological action of CCN2 has been suggested. Nevertheless, it can also be regarded as another aspect of the physiological and regenerative function of CCN2, which is discussed as well.