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CCN Nomenclature

CCN Nomenclature

The CCN acronym was introduced after to the names of the first 3 members of the family to be discovered: Cyr61 (Cysteine rich protein 61); CTGF (Connective tissue growth factor); and NOV (Nephroblastoma overexpressed gene) (Bork 1993).

Due to the multifunctional nature of these proteins they have been identified in several other biological studies and been assigned multiple names.Furthermore, as documented in the literature, some names were misleading or too restrictive.

After the issue had been discussed at the First International Workshop on the CCN Family of Genes, in Saint Malo, a proposal was put forth to unify the nomenclature of the CCN family of proteins. In the order of their description in the literature, CCN1 (CYR61), CCN2 (CTGF), CCN3 (NOV), CCN4 (WISP-1), CCN5 (WISP-2), and CCN6 (WISP-3) constitute a family of matricellular proteins that regulate cell adhesion, migration, proliferation, survival, and differentiation.

Proposal for a unified CCN nomenclature.

Mol Pathol. 2003 April; 56(2): 127–128.

D.R. Brigstock (1), R Goldschmeding (2),K-i Katsube (3) , S C-T Lam (4), L F Lau (5),

K Lyons (6), C Naus (7), B Perbal (8), B Riser (9), M Takigawa (10), and H Yeger (11).

1Department of Surgery, Ohio State University, Colombus, Ohio 43205, USA

2Pathology H04.312, University Hospital Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands

3Molecular Pahology, Graduate School of Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Yushima, Tokyo,113–8549 Japan

4Department of Pharmacology, University of Illinois, Chicago, IL 60612, USA

5Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Illinois, Chicago, IL 60607, USA

6Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA

7Department of Anatomy, University of British Columbia, Vancouver V6T 1Z3, Canada

8Laboratoire d’Oncologie Virale et Moléculaire, Université Paris 7-D, 75005 Paris, France

9Baxter Healthcare Renal Division, Magaw Park, IL 60085, USA

10Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Dentistry Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine and Dentistry, Okayama, 700–8525, Japan

11Department of Pediatric Laboratory Medicine, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto M5G 1XB, Canada

This proposal has been endorsed by the International CCN Society and serve to eliminate confusion from the multiple names that have been given to these molecules.

The official nomenclature of the CCN family that has been adopted in humans is detailed below.

Nomenclature of the CCN family of proteins

CCN Family member

Alternative names


Cyr61, CTGF-2, IGFBP10, IGFBP-rP4


CTGF, IGFBP8, IGFBP-rP2, HBGF-0.8, Hcs24, ecogenin




Wisp-1, Elm-1


Wisp-2, CTGF-L, CTGF-3, HICP, Cop-1



For further information, please contact: Annick Perbal, Administrative Secretary of the International CCN society