Chondrocyte protein with a poly-proline region is a novel protein expressed by chondrocytes in vitro and in vivo

Laura Tonachini, Massimiliano Monticone, Eddi Di Marco, Barbara Zerega, Ranieri Cancedda, Patrizio Castagnola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Chondrogenic differentiation is a multistep process entailing the sequential activation and inhibition of the expression of a number of genes. To identify genes preferentially expressed at the hypertrophic stage rather than early differentiation stages of chicken chondrocyte differentiation, a subtracted cDNA library was generated. Here we describe the characterization of a cDNA isolated from this library and that of the encoded protein referred to as Chondrocyte Protein with a Poly-proline Region (CHPPR). The cDNA coding for CHPPR hybridizes with a 3.0-kb mRNA expressed at extremely low levels in dedifferentiated chondrocytes, cultured in adherent conditions, at low levels in differentiating chondrocytes and at very high levels in hypertrophic chondrocytes in suspension culture. The Parathyroid Hormone peptide [PTH (1-34)] enhances accumulation of CHPPR mRNA in cultured chondrocytes. This 3.0-kb mRNA is also detectable in several chick embryo tissues but at a lower extent when compared to that present in cartilage and in hypertrophic chondrocytes. The CHPPR cDNA has a complete open reading frame coding for a polypeptide with a calculated mass of 35.6 kDa containing a proline-rich region with a PPLP motif (single-letter amino acid code). We demonstrate by Western blot analysis that two CHPPR isoforms are detected in the cell lysates from cultured chondrocytes when they are not in the culture medium; furthermore, we find that the CHPPR gene is expressed in vivo by chick embryo chondrocytes at higher levels in the prehypertrophic and hypertrophic zones.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-429
Number of pages9
JournalBBA - Gene Structure and Expression
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 27 2002


  • Cartilage
  • Chondrocyte
  • Poly-proline region
  • PPLP motif

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Genetics
  • Structural Biology
  • Biophysics


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