Characterization and chondrocyte differentiation stage-specific expression of KRAB zinc-finger protein gene ZNF470

Thomas M. Hering, Najam H. Kazmi, Tru D. Huynh, John Kollar, Laura Xu, Aaron B. Hunyady, Brian Johnstone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations


As part of a study to identify novel transcriptional regulators of chondrogenesis-related gene expression, we have cloned and characterized cDNA for zinc-finger protein 470 (ZNF470), the human ortholog of which encodes a 717 amino acid residue protein containing 17 Cys2His2 zinc-finger domains, as well as KRAB-A and KRAB-B motifs. The cDNA library used to isolate the initial ZNF470 clone was prepared from human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal progenitor cells at an intermediate stage of chondrogenic differentiation. We have determined the intron-exon structure of the human ZNF470 gene, which has been mapped to a zinc-finger cluster in a known imprinted region of human chromosome 19q13.4. ZNF470 is expressed at high levels in human testis and is expressed at low or undetectible levels in other adult tissues. Human ZNF470 expressed in mammalian cells as an EGFP fusion protein localizes predominantly to the nucleus, consistent with a role in transcriptional regulation. ZNF470, analyzed by quantitative real time PCR, was transiently expressed before the maximal expression of COL2A1 during chondrogenic differentiation in vitro. We have also characterized the bovine ortholog of human ZNF470, which encodes a 508 amino acid residue protein having 10 zinc-finger domains. A bovine ZNF470 cDNA clone was used to examine expression of ZNF470 in bovine articular chondrocytes treated with retinoic acid to stimulate dedifferentiation. Bovine ZNF470 expression was undetectable in freshly isolated bovine articular chondrocytes, but was dramatically upregulated in dedifferentiated retinoic acid-treated chondrocytes. These results, in two model systems, suggest a possible role for ZNF470 in the regulation of chondrogenesis-specific gene expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-147
Number of pages11
JournalExperimental Cell Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 10 2004


  • Cartilage
  • Chondrocyte
  • Chondrogenesis
  • Dedifferentiation
  • Differentiation
  • Mesenchymal stem cell
  • Retinoic acid
  • Zinc-finger protein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology

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