The modular architecture of a new family of growth regulators related to connective tissue growth factor.
Recently, several groups have characterized and sequenced members of a new family of growth regulators (originally called cef10, connective tissue growth factor, fisp-12, cyr61, or, alternatively, beta IG-M1 and beta IG-M2), all of which belong to immediate-early genes expressed after induction by growth factors or certain oncogenes. Sequence analysis of this family revealed the presence of four distinct modules. Each module has homologues in other extracellular mosaic proteins such as Von Willebrand factor, slit, thrombospondins, fibrillar collagens, IGF-binding proteins and mucins. Classification and analysis of these modules suggests the location of binding regions and, by analogy to better characterized modules in other proteins, sheds some light onto the structure of this new family.