A chondrogenesis-related lipocalin cluster includes a third new gene, CALγ

Aldo Pagano, Richard Crooijmans, Martien Groenen, Nadia Randazzo, Barbara Zerega, Ranieri Cancedda, Beatrice Dozin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We have previously reported the modulation, during chondrogenesis and/or inflammation, of two chicken genes laying in the same genomic locus and coding for two polypeptides of the lipocalin protein family, the extracellular fatty acid binding protein (ExFABP) and the chondrogenesis associated lipocalin β (CALβ). A third gene, located within the same cluster and coding for a new lipocalin, CALγ, has been identified and is here characterized. Tissue distribution analyzed by real-time quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction in chicken embryos shows a ubiquitous expression with predominant levels of mRNA transcripts in the liver and the brain. In the developing tibia, a high expression of CALγ mRNA was evidenced by in situ hybridization within the pre-hypertrophic and the hypertrophic zones of the bone-forming cartilage. In agreement, dedifferentiated chondrocytes in vitro express the transcripts to the highest level when they re-differentiate reaching hypertrophy. Such peculiar developmental pattern of expression that is analogous to those already described for Ex-FABP and CALβ suggests that all three proteins may act synergistically in the process of endochondral bone formation. Moreover, like Ex-FABP and CALβ, CALγ is also highly induced in dedifferentiated chondrocytes upon stimulation with lypopolysaccharides, indicating that the whole cluster quite possibly is transcriptionally activated not only in physiological morphogenic differentiation but also in pathological acute phase response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-194
Number of pages10
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 27 2003


  • Chondocyte differentiation
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Inflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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