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. The Steering Committee of the International CCN Society (B. Perbal, H. Yeger, L. Lau, C. Ayer, D. Brigstock, A. Perbal, G. Grotendorst, D. Pennica, P. Schofield) was proposed in 2001 to act as a nomenclature committee (J. Clin Pathol: Mol Pathol; 54: 108).
Two years later it was proposed to designate the CCN genes and proteins in the order of their description in the literature and therefore recognized that 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)
The Unified CCN Nomenclature that has officialy been adopted in 2008 by the HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee (HGNC) calls for the use of the acronyms, CCN1-6, and discontinuation in the use of CYR61, CTGF, NOV and WISP 1-3 respectively.
Effective October 2018, the genes referred to as CYR61, CTGF, NOV and WISP1-3 will be respectively designated by the gene symbols CCN1-6 with corresponding gene names « cellular communication network factor 1-6 »
International CCN society