Transcriptional networks controlling chondrocyte proliferation and differentiation during endochondral ossification.

In: Pediatric nephrology : journal of the International Pediatric Nephrology Association, Jg. 25 (2010) ; Nr. 4, S. 625-631
ISSN: 0931-041X
Zeitschriftenaufsatz / Fach: Biologie
Fakultät für Biologie » Entwicklungsbiologie
During endochondral ossification bones are
formed as cartilage templates in which chondrocytes
proliferate, differentiate into hypertrophic chondrocytes
and are gradually replaced by bone. Postnatally, remnants
of embryonic chondrocytes remain in a restricted domain
between the ossified regions of the bones forming the
growth plate. The coordinated proliferation and differentiation
of chondrocytes ensures the continuous elongation of
the epiphyseal growth plates. The sequential changes
between proliferation and differentiation are tightly regulated
by secreted growth factors, which activate
chondrocyte-specific transcription factors. Transcription
factors that play critical roles in regulating cell-typespecific
gene expression include Sox9, Gli2/3, and Runx2.
The interaction of these transcription factors with general
transcriptional regulators like histone-modifying enzymes
provides an additional level of regulation to fine-tune the
expression of target genes in different chondrocyte populations.
This review will outline recent advances in the
analysis of the complex transcriptional network that
regulates the distinct steps of chondrocyte differentiation.