Signaling Bone

Signaling back and forth for cartilage

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Science  19 Sep 2014:
Vol. 345, Issue 6203, pp. 1464
DOI: 10.1126/science.345.6203.1464-d

Skeletal bones provide body structure and protect inner tissues, but if they form in the wrong place, major problems result. Bone development begins with the aggregation of mesenchymal cells and their association with cartilage cells, which are then replaced by bone. Signaling molecules called Wnts limit expression of the SOX9 gene, which is needed for cartilage development. Too much SOX9 makes inappropriate cartilage. Kumar et al. show that Wnts limit cartilage development in the limb by chemically modifying the Sox9 gene and the histone protein that surrounds part of the gene. Another cell signal, called FGF, promotes cartilage development by blocking chemical modification.

Cell Rep. 10.1016/j.celrep.2014.07.038 (2014).

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