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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Expression profile analysis of mycotoxin-related genes in cartilage with endemic osteochondropathy kashin-beck disease

Feng Zhang1, Xiong Guo1*, Weizhuo Wang2, Shixun Wu1, Weijuan Ma1 and Hua Yan3

Author Affiliations

1 Key Laboratory of Environment and Gene Related Diseases of Ministry Education, Faculty of Public Health, College of Medicine, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, Shaanxi, People’s Republic of China, 710061

2 Department of Orthopedics Surgery, The Second Affiliated Hospital, College of Medicine, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, Shaanxi, 710004, People’s Republic of China

3 National Engineering Research Center for Miniaturized Detection Systems, Northwest University, Xi’an, Shaanxi, 710069, People’s Republic of China

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BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2012, 13:130  doi:10.1186/1471-2474-13-130

Published: 24 July 2012



Kashin-Beck Disease (KBD) is an endemic osteochondropathy. Mycotoxins are believed to play an important role in the pathogenesis of KBD. Because the molecular mechanism of mycotoxin-induced cartilage lesions remains unclear, there is not effective treatment for KBD now. To identify key genes involved in the mycotoxin-induced cartilage lesions, we compared the expression profiles of mycotoxin-related genes (MRG) between KBD cartilage and healthy cartilage.


Total RNA was isolated from cartilage samples, following by being amplified, labeled and hybridized to Agilent human whole genome microarray chip. qRT-PCR was conducted to validate the microarray data. 1,167 MRG were derived from the environmentally related genomic database Toxicogenomics. The microarray data of MRG was subjected to single gene and gene ontology (GO) expression analysis for identifying differently expressed genes and GO.


We identified 7 up-regulated MRG and 2 down-regulated MRG in KBD cartilage, involved in collagen, apoptosis, metabolism and growth & development. GO expression analysis found that 4 apoptosis-related GO and 5 growth & development-related GO were significantly up-regulated in KBD cartilage.


Based on the results of previous and our studies, we suggest that mycotoxins might contribute to the development of KBD through dysfunction of MRG involved in collagen, apoptosis and growth & development in cartilage.

Kashin-beck disease; Mycotoxins; Microarray