Interaction of AP-1 and the ctgf gene: A possible driver of chondrocyte hypertrophy in growth cartilage

Norifumi H. Moritani, Satoshi Kubota, Takanori Eguchi, Tomohiro Fukunaga, Takashi Yamashiro, Teruko Takano-Yamamoto, Hideki Tahara, Kazumi Ohyama, Toshio Sugahara, Masaharu Takigawa

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17 Citations (Scopus)


The expression of the connective tissue growth factor (ctgf) gene increases along with the differentiation of growth cartilage cells, and the highest expression is observed in the hypertrophic stage. Similarly, recent reports demonstrated c-fos expression in chondrocytes in the early hypertrophic zone of growth cartilage, and suggested that the c-fos gene may play a crucial role in the regulation of hypertrophic differentiation. A chondrocytic human cell line, HCS-2/8, is known to retain a variety of chondrocytic phenotypes. When such cells were kept overconfluent, they expressed increasing levels of c-fos transcripts along a time course phenotypically similar to that of hypertrophic differentiation. Moreover, by using a competitive electromobility-shift assay, we found that AP-1, a Fos/Jun heterodimer, in HCS-2/8 was capable of binding not only to a typical AP-1-binding DNA fragment but also to the enhancer fragment of the ctgf gene. Based on the findings above, we hypothesize that, prior to hypertrophic differentiation, AP-1-related oncogenes are activated and that their gene products subsequently activate ctgf gene expression, which might eventually induce hypertrophy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-210
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Bone and Mineral Metabolism
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • AP-1
  • c-fos
  • Cartilage
  • CTGF


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