Brother of CDO (BOC) expression in equine articular cartilage

K. S. Vanderman, M. Tremblay, W. Zhu, M. Shimojo, M. J. Mienaltowski, S. J. Coleman, J. N. MacLeod

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Brother of CDO (BOC) is a cell surface receptor that derives its name from the structurally related protein, cell adhesion molecule-related/down-regulated by oncogenes (CDO, sometimes CDON). High levels of BOC mRNA and protein expression have been described in embryonic tissues with active cell proliferation and ongoing cellular differentiation. 1,2. A microarray-based screen of RNA isolated from 11 different adult equine tissues unexpectedly identified BOC as having an expression pattern restricted to articular cartilage. The objective of this study was to further investigate BOC expression in adult articular cartilage relative to other tissues. Both RT-qPCR and mRNA sequencing confirmed the microarray data. Steady state BOC mRNA levels in articular cartilage were substantially higher than in the other adult tissues tested, neonatal tendon, placenta, and whole embryo. The expression of BOC displayed a pattern of tissue specificity comparable to well established cartilage matrix protein biomarkers. BOC mRNA levels in articular cartilage increased with age, but were rapidly down-regulated when chondrocytes were enzymatically isolated from the cartilage matrix and expanded in monolayer culture. Relative expression patterns of CDO were broadly similar, but displayed lower fold change differences. A functional role in articular cartilage that involves Hedgehog signaling is suggested by the known binding affinity of BOC for all three Hedgehog ligands. These data also extend BOC and CDO biology to a post-mitotic and highly differentiated cell type within a mature tissue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-438
Number of pages4
JournalOsteoarthritis and Cartilage
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2011


  • BOC
  • CDO
  • Cartilage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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