Reviewed January 2010
What is the official name of the VCAN gene?
The official name of this gene is “versican.”
VCAN is the gene's official symbol. The VCAN gene is also known by other names, listed below.
What is the normal function of the VCAN gene?
The VCAN gene provides instructions for making a protein called versican. Versican is found in the extracellular matrix of many different tissues and organs. The extracellular matrix is the intricate lattice of proteins and other molecules that forms in the spaces between cells. Versican interacts with many of these proteins and molecules to facilitate the assembly of the extracellular matrix and ensure its stability.
Researchers have proposed several additional functions for versican. This protein likely helps regulate cell growth and division, the attachment of cells to one another (cell adhesion), and cell movement (migration). Studies suggest that versican plays a role in forming new blood vessels (angiogenesis), wound healing, inflammation, and preventing the growth of cancerous tumors. Versican also regulates the activity of several growth factors, which control a diverse range of processes important for cell growth.
Four different versions (isoforms) of the versican protein are produced from the VCAN gene. These isoforms (called V0, V1, V2, and V3) vary by size and by their location within the body.
Does the VCAN gene share characteristics with other genes?
The VCAN gene belongs to a family of genes called PG (proteoglycans).
A gene family is a group of genes that share important characteristics. Classifying individual genes into families helps researchers describe how genes are related to each other. For more information, see What are gene families? (http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/handbook/howgeneswork/genefamilies) in the Handbook.
How are changes in the VCAN gene related to health conditions?
- Wagner syndrome - caused by mutations in the VCAN gene
At least six mutations in the VCAN gene have been found to cause Wagner syndrome. Some of these mutations can also cause a similar condition called erosive vitreoretinopathy, which is often considered a variant of Wagner syndrome. All of the identified VCAN gene mutations disrupt the way the gene's instructions are used to make versican. These mutations may decrease the production of versican isoforms V0 and V1 and increase the production of isoforms V2 and V3. Researchers believe that this imbalance of the versican isoforms is responsible for the vision problems experienced by people with Wagner syndrome. It is unknown why VCAN gene mutations seem solely to affect vision.
Where is the VCAN gene located?
Cytogenetic Location: 5q14.3
Molecular Location on chromosome 5: base pairs 83,471,673 to 83,582,302
The VCAN gene is located on the long (q) arm of chromosome 5 at position 14.3.
More precisely, the VCAN gene is located from base pair 83,471,673 to base pair 83,582,302 on chromosome 5.
See How do geneticists indicate the location of a gene? (http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/handbook/howgeneswork/genelocation) in the Handbook.
Where can I find additional information about VCAN?
You and your healthcare professional may find the following resources about VCAN helpful.
Educational resources - Information pages
- Essentials of Glycobiology (second edition, 2009): Proteoglycans and Sulfated Glycosaminoglycans (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK1900/)
- Madame Curie Bioscience Database: Proteoglycans (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK6448/)
- Gene Reviews - Clinical summary (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK3821/)
Genetic Testing Registry - Repository of genetic test information
- GTR: Genetic tests for VCAN (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/gtr/tests/?term=1462%5Bgeneid%5D)
You may also be interested in these resources, which are designed for genetics professionals and researchers.
- PubMed - Recent literature (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=((VCAN%5BTIAB%5D)%20OR%20(versican%5BTI%5D)%20OR%20(CSPG2%5BTIAB%5D))%20AND%20((Genes%5BMH%5D)%20OR%20(Genetic%20Phenomena%5BMH%5D))%20AND%20english%5Bla%5D%20AND%20human%5Bmh%5D%20AND%20%22last%201080%20days%22%5Bdp%5D)
- OMIM - Genetic disorder catalog (http://omim.org/entry/118661)
Research Resources - Tools for researchers
- Atlas of Genetics and Cytogenetics in Oncology and Haematology (http://atlasgeneticsoncology.org/Genes/GC_VCAN.html)
- GeneCards (http://www.genecards.org/cgi-bin/carddisp.pl?id_type=entrezgene&id=1462)
- HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee (http://www.genenames.org/data/hgnc_data.php?hgnc_id=2464)
- NCBI Gene (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/gene/1462)
What other names do people use for the VCAN gene or gene products?
- chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan 2
- glial hyaluronate-binding protein
- versican proteoglycan
See How are genetic conditions and genes named? (http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/handbook/mutationsanddisorders/naming) in the Handbook.
What glossary definitions help with understanding VCAN?
cell adhesion ;
extracellular matrix ;
You may find definitions for these and many other terms in the Genetics Home Reference
- Kloeckener-Gruissem B, Bartholdi D, Abdou MT, Zimmermann DR, Berger W. Identification of the genetic defect in the original Wagner syndrome family. Mol Vis. 2006 Apr 17;12:350-5. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16636652?dopt=Abstract)
- Mukhopadhyay A, Nikopoulos K, Maugeri A, de Brouwer AP, van Nouhuys CE, Boon CJ, Perveen R, Zegers HA, Wittebol-Post D, van den Biesen PR, van der Velde-Visser SD, Brunner HG, Black GC, Hoyng CB, Cremers FP. Erosive vitreoretinopathy and wagner disease are caused by intronic mutations in CSPG2/Versican that result in an imbalance of splice variants. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2006 Aug;47(8):3565-72. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16877430?dopt=Abstract)
- NCBI Gene (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/gene/1462)
- OMIM: VERSICAN (http://omim.org/entry/118661)
- Rahmani M, Wong BW, Ang L, Cheung CC, Carthy JM, Walinski H, McManus BM. Versican: signaling to transcriptional control pathways. Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2006 Jan;84(1):77-92. Review. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16845893?dopt=Abstract)
- Ronan SM, Tran-Viet KN, Burner EL, Metlapally R, Toth CA, Young TL. Mutational hot spot potential of a novel base pair mutation of the CSPG2 gene in a family with Wagner syndrome. Arch Ophthalmol. 2009 Nov;127(11):1511-9. doi: 10.1001/archophthalmol.2009.273. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19901218?dopt=Abstract)
- Theocharis DA, Skandalis SS, Noulas AV, Papageorgakopoulou N, Theocharis AD, Karamanos NK. Hyaluronan and chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans in the supramolecular organization of the mammalian vitreous body. Connect Tissue Res. 2008;49(3):124-8. doi: 10.1080/03008200802148496. Review. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18661326?dopt=Abstract)
- Wight TN. Versican: a versatile extracellular matrix proteoglycan in cell biology. Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2002 Oct;14(5):617-23. Review. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12231358?dopt=Abstract)
- Wu YJ, La Pierre DP, Wu J, Yee AJ, Yang BB. The interaction of versican with its binding partners. Cell Res. 2005 Jul;15(7):483-94. Review. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16045811?dopt=Abstract)
The resources on this site should not be used as a substitute for
professional medical care or advice. Users seeking information about
a personal genetic disease, syndrome, or condition should consult with a qualified
See How can I find a genetics professional in my area? (http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/handbook/consult/findingprofessional) in the Handbook.