Epigenetic regulators controlling osteogenic lineage commitment and bone formation

Parisa Dashti, Eric A. Lewallen, Jonathan A.R. Gordon, Martin A. Montecino, James R. Davie*, Gary S. Stein, Johannes P.T.M. van Leeuwen, Bram C.J. van der Eerden*, Andre J. van Wijnen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

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Bone formation and homeostasis are controlled by environmental factors and endocrine regulatory cues that initiate intracellular signaling pathways capable of modulating gene expression in the nucleus. Bone-related gene expression is controlled by nucleosome-based chromatin architecture that limits the accessibility of lineage-specific gene regulatory DNA sequences and sequence-specific transcription factors. From a developmental perspective, bone-specific gene expression must be suppressed during the early stages of embryogenesis to prevent the premature mineralization of skeletal elements during fetal growth in utero. Hence, bone formation is initially inhibited by gene suppressive epigenetic regulators, while other epigenetic regulators actively support osteoblast differentiation. Prominent epigenetic regulators that stimulate or attenuate osteogenesis include lysine methyl transferases (e.g., EZH2, SMYD2, SUV420H2), lysine deacetylases (e.g., HDAC1, HDAC3, HDAC4, HDAC7, SIRT1, SIRT3), arginine methyl transferases (e.g., PRMT1, PRMT4/CARM1, PRMT5), dioxygenases (e.g., TET2), bromodomain proteins (e.g., BRD2, BRD4) and chromodomain proteins (e.g., CBX1, CBX2, CBX5). This narrative review provides a broad overview of the covalent modifications of DNA and histone proteins that involve hundreds of enzymes that add, read, or delete these epigenetic modifications that are relevant for self-renewal and differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells, skeletal stem cells and osteoblasts during osteogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number117043
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024

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