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PLoS One. 2013 Apr 30;8(4):e62704. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0062704. Print 2013.

Exploring differentially expressed genes by RNA-Seq in cashmere goat (Capra hircus) skin during hair follicle development and cycling.

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College of Animal Science and Technology, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, People's Republic of China.


Cashmere goat (Capra hircus) hair follicle development and cycling can be divided into three stages: anagen, catagen and telogen. To elucidate the genes involved in hair follicle development and cycling in cashmere goats, transcriptome profiling of skin was carried out by analysing samples from three hair follicle developmental stages using RNA-Seq. The RNA-Seq analysis generated 8487344, 8142514 and 7345335 clean reads in anagen, catagen and telogen stages, respectively, which provided abundant data for further analysis. A total of 1332 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified, providing evidence that the development of hair follicles among the three distinct stages changed considerably. A total of 683 genes with significant differential expression were detected between anagen and catagen, 530 DEGs were identified between anagen and telogen, and 119 DEGs were identified between catagen and telogen. A large number of DEGs were predominantly related to cellular process, cell & cell part, binding, biological regulation and metabolic process among the different stages of hair follicle development. In addition, the Wnt, Shh, TGF-β and Notch signaling pathways may be involved in hair follicle development and the identified DEGs may play important roles in these signaling pathways. These results will expand our understanding of the complex molecular mechanisms of hair follicle development and cycling in cashmere goats and provide a foundation for future studies.

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