In order to identify receptor molecules that participate in the growth and differentiation of chondrocytes, we cloned a number of cDNA fragments from HCS-2/8 chondrocytic cells, by using tyrosine kinase-specific primers for amplification. The mRNA expression of one such receptor, ErbB4, was increased by connective tissue growth factor/hypertrophic chondrocyte-specific gene product (CTGF/Hcs24), which promotes all stages of the endochondral ossification in vitro. ErbB4 expression was observed through all stages of chondrocytic differentiation in vitro, corresponding to the wide distribution of CTGF/Hcs24 target cells. Furthermore, positive signals for erbB4 mRNA were detectable throughout most populations of chondrocytes, in growth and articular cartilage in vivo. These results demonstrate for the first time that ErbB4 is expressed in chondrocytes and may play some roles in chondrocytic growth and differentiation along with CTGF/Hcs24.
- Connective tissue growth factor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Structural Biology
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology