Nov 1, 1995

Progression and recapitulation of the chondrocyte differentiation program: cartilage matrix protein is a marker for cartilage maturation

Developmental Biology
Q ChenP F Goetinck


During endochondral bone formation, chondrocytes in the cartilaginous anlage of long bones progress through a spatially and temporally regulated differentiation program before being replaced by bone. To understand this process, we have characterized the differentiation program and analyzed the relationship between chondrocytes and their extracellular environment in the regulation of the program. Our results indicate that, within an epiphyseal growth plate, the zone of proliferating chondrocytes is not contiguous with the zone of hypertrophic chondrocytes identified by the transcription of the type X collagen gene. We find that the postproliferative chondrocytes which make up the zone between the zones of proliferation and hypertrophy specifically transcribe the gene for cartilage matrix protein (CMP). This zone has been termed the zone of maturation. The identification of this unique population of chondrocytes demonstrates that the chondrocyte differentiation program consists of at least three stages. CMP translation products are present in the matrix surrounding the nonproliferative chondrocytes of both the zones of maturation and hypertrophy. Thus, CMP is a marker for postmitotic chondrocytes. As a result of the changes in ge...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Collagen Type X
Pellet Formation
Organ Culture Techniques
Chondrocyte Differentiation
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
Transcription, Genetic
Extracellular Matrix
ACAN gene

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