Front Biosci 2005 May 1;10:998-1009. Epub 2005 May 1.
Université Paris 7-D.Diderot, Laboratoire d Oncologie Virale et Moléculaire, 2 place Jussieu, Case 7048, 75251 Paris Cedex France.
The CCN genes encode secreted proteins, associated to the extracellular matrix. They are involved in diverse biological processes such as regulation of cell- adhesion, migration, proliferation, differentiation and survival. They play important roles in pregnancy, development, angiogenesis, wound repair and inflammation. Several lines of evidence support a role for CCN genes in fibrotic disorders and tumorigenesis. We will focus our attention in this review on two CCN proteins: CCN1 and CCN3, that appear to exert distinct and opposite effects. Recent data suggest that CCN1 acts as a tumor-promoting factor and a key regulator in cancer progression, while CCN3 exhibits suppressive capabilities. The possible opposite functions of CCN1 and CCN3 in tumorigenesis, and the relevance of the distinct expression profiles of these two genes observed in many cancers are discussed below.