The invention relates to a novel CTHRC1 nucleic acid and protein encoded thereby. Expression of CTHRC1 is induced by injury in, among others, arteries and skin, and CTHRC1 is expressed in bone, cartilage, kidney, lung and brain. CTHRC1 expression is associated with collagen matrix production, arterial remodeling, arterial restenosis, constrictive remodeling, vessel injury, ectopic ossification, fibrosis, and the like. CTHRC1 also plays a role in cell-cell and cell-matrix adhesion, cell-migration, and bone, cartilage, skin and brain development. CTHRC1 also regulates the level of BMPs, including BMP1 and BMP4, and the invention encompasses methods relating to affecting the level of BMPs by affecting the level of CTHRC1. In addition, the invention relates to modulation of the level of CTHRC1 to affect processes associated with fibrosis mediated by formation of collagen matrix. The invention further relates to methods of treating, preventing, and/or detecting these diseases, disorders or conditions, where the methods comprise modulating or detecting CTHRC1 expression and/or production of CTHRC1 polypeptide. The invention also relates to affecting CTHRC1 expression using cytokines.