Gene expression dynamics in deer antler: Mesenchymal differentiation toward chondrogenesis

István Gyurján, Andrea Molnár, Adrienn Borsy, Viktor Stéger, László Hackler, Zoltán Zomborszky, Péter Papp, Erno Duda, Ferenc Deák, Péter Lakatos, László G. Puskás, László Orosz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)


Annual re-growth of deer antler represents a unique example of complete organ regeneration. Because antler mesenchymal cells retain their embryonic capacity to develop into cartilage or bone, studying antler development provides a natural system to follow gene expression changes during mesenchymal differentiation toward chondrogenic/osteogenic lineage. To identify novel genes involved either in early events of mesenchymal cell specialization or in robust bone development, we have introduced a 3 K heterologous microarray set-up (deer cDNA versus mouse template). Fifteen genes were differentially expressed; genes for housekeeping, regulatory functions (components of different signaling pathways, including FGF, TGFβ, Wnt), and genes encoding members of the Polycomb group were represented. Expression dynamics for genes are visualized by an expression logo. The expression profile of the gene C21orf70 of unknown function is described along with the effects when over-expressed; furthermore the nuclear localization of the cognate protein is shown. In this report, we demonstrate the particular advantage of the velvet antler model in bone research for: (1) identification of mesenchymal and precartilaginous genes and (2) targeting genes upregulated in robust cartilage development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-235
Number of pages15
JournalMolecular Genetics and Genomics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2007


  • Antler
  • C21orf70
  • Deer
  • Expression logo
  • Heterologous microarray
  • Mesenchyme

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

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