C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP) signaling has been implicated as an important regulator of chondrogenic differentiation during endochondral bone development. This preliminary study further investigated the putative effectors and/or targets of CNP signaling in transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta induced in vitro chondrogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Previously characterized human trabecular bone derived MSCs were induced either with only TGF-beta 1 or with a combination of TGF-beta 1 and CNP in micromass culture for 10 or 20 days. Genome wide gene expression profile changes in between these two groups were analyzed on day-10 or day-20 of culture. Results revealed that there were only 7 genes, whose expression change was fourfolds or higher in TGF-beta 1 and CNP fed group in comparison to only TGF-beta 1 fed group. The up-regulated genes included matrilin-3 (MATN3), engulfment and cell motility 1 (ELMO1), CD24, and DCN1, defective in cullin neddylation 1, domain containing 1 (DCUN1D1). The down-regulated genes, on the other hand, included LIM domain kinase 2 (LIMK2), Ewing sarcoma breakpoint region 1, and guanine nucleotide binding protein (G protein), gamma 12 (GNG12). The up-regulation of MATN3 was confirmed on the basis of RT-PCR. The known literature on both CNP signaling and MATN3 function in chondrogenesis match with each other and suggest MATN3 as a putative effector and/or target of CNP signaling during this process.