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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1997 Jun 9;235(1):142-7.

Cloning of a mouse smoothened cDNA and expression patterns of hedgehog signalling molecules during chondrogenesis and cartilage differentiation in clonal mouse EC cells, ATDC5.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, Sakyo, Japan.


Hedgehog (hh) family proteins appear to use the conserved targets in their signalling pathway including Patched (Ptc), Smoothened (Smo), and Gli. Although Indian hedgehog (Ihh) plays an important role in endochondral bone formation, the involvement of hh signalling molecules in skeletogenesis is unknown. We cloned a mouse (m) Smo cDNA and studied the expression patterns of Ihh, Ptc, Smo, and Gli mRNAs in mouse chondrogenic EC cells, ATDC5. The deduced amino acid sequence of mSmo consisted of 793 amino acids and was 98 and 93% homologous to the rat (r) Smo and human (h) Smo, respectively. In ATDC5 cells, the expression of Ihh mRNA paralleled that of type X collagen mRNA. Smo, Ptc, and Gli mRNAs were constitutively expressed throughout chondrogenesis and the subsequent cartilage differentiation processes except for the transient decrease in Ptc mRNA at the cellular condensation stage. Our data suggest that hh signalling molecules may be involved in chondrogenesis and cartilage differentiation in ATDC5 cells.

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