Collagen Triple Helix Repeat Containing-1 (CTHRC1) Functions
The Lindner laboratory discovered Cthrc1 in a screen for novel sequences specifically induced in injured arteries.
Figure 1. Cthrc1 is highly induced in the outer layer (adventitia) of arteries in response to injury. This layer undergoes a significant scarring process with abundant deposition of collagen, which leads to narrowing of the artery lumen.
Figure 2. Cthrc1 is a unique and very highly conserved molecule found in chordates. It is a secreted protein that forms dimers and higher molecular weight complexes.
Transgenic mice overexpressing Cthrc1 have less collagen deposition in the adventitia and reduced thickening of the intima.
Figure 3. Arterial remodeling and collagen deposition (red) in the mouse carotid artery ligation model reveals that in Cthrc1 transgenic mice (Tg) there is less collagen accumulation compared to wild-type (WT) mice.
Recent observations made in our laboratory indicate that Cthrc1 plays a role in physiological remodeling of blood vessels occurring after birth and during cardiac remodeling. Although most of our efforts are focused on the role of Cthrc1 in the cardiovascular system, constitutive expression of Cthrc1 is seen in some neurons of the midbrain and collaborative efforts are under way examining neuronal functions of Cthrc1.