2017 Volume 26 Issue 3 Pages 119-125
Aggrecan, encoded by ACAN, is a major proteoglycan component of the extracellular matrix in the growth plate and articular cartilage. Aggrecan provides the hydrated gel structure important for the load-bearing properties of joints and plays a key role in cartilage and bone morphogenesis. At least 25 pathological ACAN mutations have been identified in patients with highly variable phenotypes of syndromic or non-syndromic short stature. This review provides an overview of the current understanding of ACAN and the clinical and genetic findings concerning aggrecan-associated diseases.