Yin and Yang: CCN3 inhibits the pro-fibrotic effects of CCN2

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Fibrotic disease is a significant cause of mortality. CCN2 (connective tissue growth factor [CTGF]), a member of the CCN family of matricellular proteins, plays a significant role in driving the fibrogenic effects of cytokines such as transforming growth factor β (TGFβ). It has been proposed that other members of the CCN family can either promote or antagonize the action of CCN2, depending on the context. A recent elegant study published by Bruce Riser and colleagues (Am J Pathol. 174:1725–34, 2009) illustrates that CCN3 (nov) antagonizes the fibrogenic effects of CCN2. This paper, the subject of this commentary, raises the intriguing possibility that CCN3 may be used as a novel anti-fibrotic therapy.

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