Versican, a chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan, is one of the main components of the extracellular matrix, which provides a loose and hydrated matrix during key events in development and disease. Versican participates in cell adhesion, proliferation, migration, and angiogenesis, and hence plays a central role in tissue morphogenesis and maintenance. In addition, versican contributes to the development of a number of pathologic processes including atherosclerotic vascular diseases, cancer, tendon remodeling, hair follicle cycling, central nervous system injury, and neunte outgrowth. Versican is a complex molecule consisting of modular core protein domains and glycosaminoglycan side chains, and there are various steps of synthesis and processes regulating them. Also, there is differential temporal and spatial expression of versican by multiple cell types and in different developmental and pathological time frames. To fully appreciate the functional roles of versican as it relates to changing patterns of expression in development and disease, an in depth knowledge of versican's biosynthetic processing is necessary. The goal of this review is to evaluate the current status of our knowledge regarding the transcriptional control of versican gene regulation. We will be focusing on the signal transduction pathways, promoter regions, cis-acting elements, and trans-factors that have been characterized.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-92
Number of pages16
JournalCanadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006


  • Promoter
  • Proteoglycan
  • Signaling pathway
  • Transcription factor
  • Versican


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