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Potential cellular conformations of the CCN3(NOV) protein

Stanimir Kyurkchiev, Herman Yeger, Anne - Marie Bleau and Bernard Perbal*

Author Affiliations

Laboratoire d' Oncologie Virale et Moléculaire, UFR de Biochimie, Université Paris 7-D. Diderot, Paris, France

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Cell Communication and Signaling 2004, 2:9  doi:10.1186/1478-811X-2-9

Published: 10 September 2004



To study the cellular distribution of CCN3(NOV) and to determine if the carboxyterminus of CCN3 is hidden or masked due to high affinity interactions with other partners. CCN3 was detected using affinity purified antibodies (anti-K19M-AF) as well as a Protein A purified anti-K19M antibodies (anti-K19M IgG) against a C-terminal 19-aminoacid peptide (K19M) of human CCN3 protein. The antibodies were applied in indirect immunofluorescence tests and immunoenzyme assays on glial tumor cell line, G59, and its CCN3-transfected variant G59/540 and the adrenocortical cell line, NCI-H295R.


Anti-K19M-AF antibodies reacted against K19M peptide in ELISA and recognized two bands of 51 kDa and 30 kDa in H295R (adrenocortical carcinoma) cell culture supernatants by immunoblotting. H295R culture supernatants which contained CCN3 as shown by immunoblotting did not react with anti-CCN3 antibodies in liquid phase. Anti-CCN3 antibodies stained the surface membranes of non-permeabilized H295R and cytoplasm in permeabilized H295R cells. Similarly, anti-CCN3 stained surface membranes of G59/540, but did not react with G59 cells. Prominent cytoplasmic staining was observed in G59/540, as well as the cell footprints of G59/540 and H295R were strongly labeled.


The K19M-AF antibody directed against the C-terminal 19-aminoacid peptide of CCN3 recognized the secreted protein under denaturing conditions. However, the C-terminal motif of secreted CCN3 was not accessible to K19M-AF in liquid phase. These anti-CCN3 antibodies stained CCN3 protein which was localized to cytoplasmic stores, cell membranes and extracellular matrix. This would suggest that cytoplasmic and cell membrane bound CCN3 has an exposed C-terminus while secreted CCN3 has a sequestered C-terminus which could be due to interaction with other proteins or itself (dimerization). Thus the K19M-AF antibodies revealed at least two conformational states of the native CCN3 protein.

H295R adrenal and G59/540 glial tumor cell lines; CCN3; NOV; NOVH; nephroblastoma overexpressed protein; affinity purified antibodies to C-terminal domain; protein conformations; CCN proteins