Alternative splicing of CCN mRNAs …. it has been upon us

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Variant CCN proteins have been identified over the past decade in several normal and pathological situations. The production of CCN truncated proteins have been reported in the case of CCN2(ctgf), CCN3(nov), CCN4(wisp-1) and CCN6(wisp-3). Furthermore, the natural CCN5 is known to miss the C-terminal domain that is present in all other members of the CCN family of proteins. In spite of compelling evidence that assign important biological activities to these truncated CCN variants, their potential regulatory functions have only recently begun to be widely accepted. The report of CCN1(cyr61) intron 3 retention in breast cancer cells now confirms that, in addition to well documented post-translational processing of full length CCN proteins, alternative splicing is to be regarded as another effective way to generate CCN variants. These observations add to a previous bulk of evidence that support the existence of alternative splicing for other CCN genes. It has become clearly evident that we need to recognize these mechanisms as a means to increase the biological diversity of CCN proteins.

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