A nervous system chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan that binds to neural cell adhesion molecules and modulates neuronal adhesion and neurite outgrowth during development.


A gene on chromosome 19p12 that encodes neurocan, a chondroitin sulphate proteoglycan, which may be involved in modulating neuronal adhesion and migration as well as neurite growth during development, by binding to neural cell adhesion molecules.
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Down-regulation of neurocan expression in reactive astrocytes promotes axonal regeneration and facilitates the neurorestorative effects of bone marrow stromal cells in the ischemic rat brain.
The study identified evidence for association with markers in the neurocan gene (NCAN) on chromosome 19p12, and rs2501843 on chromosome 1.
Other loci identified are near methylmalonic aciduria type B1/mevalonate kinase (MVK-MMAB) and UDP acetylgalactosaminyltransferase 2 (GALNT2), with high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol; near sortilin 1 (SORT1), cadherin EGF LAG seven-pass G-type receptor 2 (CELSR2) and Proline/serine-rich coiled-coil protein 1 (PSRC1) with variants primarily associated with low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol; near Tribbles homolog 1 (TRIB1), MLX interacting protein like1 (MLXIPL) and angiopoietin-like 3 (ANGPTL3), with variants primarily associated with triglycerides; and a locus encompassing several genes near neurocan (NCAN), with variants strongly associated with both triglycerides and LDL cholesterol (74,75).
It has been known from prior studies that knocking out the NCAN gene results in a developmental disorder in the brain due to the fact that the production of the neurocan protein is stopped.