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Key roles for connective tissue growth factor (CTGF/CCN2) are demonstrated in the wound repair process where it promotes myofibroblast differentiation and angiogenesis. Similar mechanisms are active in tumor-reactive stroma where CTGF is expressed. Other potential roles include prevention of hypoxia-induced apoptosis and promoting epithelial-mesenchymal transistion (EMT). CTGF expression in tumors has been associated to both tumor suppression and progression. For example, CTGF expression in acute lymphoblastic leukemia, breast, pancreas and gastric cancer correlates to worse prognosis whereas the opposite is true for colorectal, lung and ovarian cancer. This discrepancy is not yet understood.High expression of CTGF is a hallmark of ileal carcinoids, which are well-differentiated endocrine carcinomas with serotonin production originating from the small intestine and proximal colon. These tumors maintain a high grade of differentiation and low proliferation. Despite this, they are malignant and most patients have metastatic disease at diagnosis. These tumors demonstrate several phenotypes potentially related to CTGF function namely: cell migration, absent tumor cell apoptosis, as well as, reactive and well vascularised myofibroblast rich stroma and fibrosis development locally and in distal organs. The presence of CTGF in other endocrine tumors indicates a role in the progression of well-differentiated tumors. © 2012 Jacobson and Cunningham; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Jacobson, A., & Cunningham, J. L. (2012). Connective tissue growth factor in tumor pathogenesis. Fibrogenesis and Tissue Repair, 5(SUPPL.1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1755-1536-5-S1-S8