The synthesis, processing, and secretion of human connective tissue growth factor (CTGF/Hcs24) in a human chondrocytic cell line, HCS-2/8, were analyzed immunochemically. By metabolic pulse-labeling, chasing, and subsequent immunoprecipitation analyses, active synthesis of CTGF was observed not only in growing HCS-2/8 cells, but also in confluent cells. However, secretion and processing of CTGF were found to be regulated differentially, depending upon the growth status. During phases of growth, HCS-2/8 cells released CTGF molecules immediately without sequestering them within the cell layer. In contrast, after the cells reached confluence, the secretion slowed, resulting in an accumulation of CTGF in the cells or extracellular matrices (ECMs). Also, in confluent cell layers, a 10 kDa protein that was reactive to an anti-CTGF serum was observed. This CTGF-related small protein was not detected immediately after labeling, but gradually appeared within 6 h after chase, which suggests its entity as a processed subfragment of CTGF. Surprisingly, the 10 kDa protein was stable even 48 h after synthesis, and was not released by ECM digestion, suggesting an intracellular maintenance and function. Taken together, the behavior of CTGF in HCS-2/8 cells is remarkably different from that reported in fibroblasts, which may represent unique roles for CTGF in the growth and differentiation of chondrocytes.
- Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF)
- Extracellular matrix (ECM)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism