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[cartilage-derived retinoic acid-sensitive protein] This protein of 11 kDa has been isolated originally from primary bovine chondrocytes and cartilaginous tissues as a mRNA the expression of which is inhibited by treatment with retinoic acid (Dietz et al, 1996). The murine gene has been isolated by Bosserhoff et al (1997). The bovine CD-RAP mRNA contains an open reading frame of 130 amino acids and the protein appears to be the bovine counterpart of human MIA (melanoma inhibitory activity). Related proteins, which comprise a protein family, are MIA2, TANGO and OTOR.

The gene is expressed only in cartilage primordia and cartilage (Dietz et al, 1996). During development, CD-RAP expression starts at the beginning of chondrogenesis and continues throughout cartilage maturation. Saito et al (2002) have suggested that levels of CD-RAP in synovial fluid from patients with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis reflect remodelling of articular cartilage and may be used as a marker to estimate objectively the restorative reaction of chondrocytes. Serum CD-RAP levels have been shown to reflect tumor onset and proliferation of chondrosarcomas (Yonekawa et al, 2002).

Expression of CD-RAP mRNA is suppressed by bFGF, IL1-beta, TGF-beta. Expression is upregulated by IGF-1 (Kondo et al, 2001).

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