Cartilage associated protein (CASP) is a novel developmentally regulated chick embryo protein

Patrizio Castagnola, Massimo Gennari, Roy Morello, Laura Tonachini, Oriano Marin, Alessia Gaggero, Ranieri Cancedda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A subtracted cDNA library was generated to identify cDNAs specific for chondrocyte mRNAs preferentially expressed at the hypertrophic stage with respect to early differentiation stages. The characterization of a cDNA isolated from this library that hybridizes with a 1.8 kb mRNA is described here. This mRNA is expressed at extremely low levels in dedifferentiated chondrocytes cultured in adherent conditions, at very low levels in differentiating chondrocytes and at very high levels in hypertrophic chondrocytes cultured in suspension conditions. In the developing chick embryo this mRNA is detectable in RNAs extracted from several other tissues besides cartilage. The described cDNA contains a complete open reading frame coding for a polypeptide of about 33 kDa. Homology searches with known cDNA and protein sequences have revealed that the chicken protein is related to the amino-terminal half of two mammalian nuclear antigens. By immunohistochemistry with specific rabbit antisera a strong signal was detected in the cartilage extracellular matrix of selected regions of the developing skeleton. Because of this localization of the antigen we named this protein cartilage associated protein (hereafter referred to as CASP).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1351-1359
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cell Science
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1997


  • Cartilage
  • Chondrocyte
  • Extracellular matrix

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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