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Expression and role of c-myc in chondrocytes undergoing endochondral ossification



Expression and role of c-myc in chondrocytes undergoing endochondral ossification



Journal of Biological Chemistry 268(13): 9645-9652



To analyze the relationship between c-myc gene expression and chondrocyte proliferation and maturation during endochondral ossification, Day 18-19 chick embryo sterna were pulse-labeled with (3H)thymidine, and serial sections were processed for autoradiography and in situ hybridization. Proliferating chondrocytes, located in four distinct areas of the developing sternum, all contained high levels of c-myc transcripts, whereas postmitotic chondrocytes (such as hypertrophic chondrocytes) contained undetectable amounts. These findings were confirmed by Northern blot analysis and by the observation that antisense c-myc oligomer treatment inhibited proliferation in cultured chondrocytes. Constitutive overexpression of c-myc by retroviral vectors in immature chondrocyte cultures (c-myc cultures) maintained the cells in a proliferative state and blocked their maturation into hypertrophic chondrocytes. The lack of maturation in the c-myc cultures was corroborated by analysis of type X collagen gene regulation. Control immature cultures contained strong repressor activity for the type X collagen gene promoter, as revealed by transfection assays; repressor activity was lost upon maturation and activation of type X collagen synthesis. In the c-myc cultures, however, repressor activity persisted. Thus, c-myc participates in the normal changes in proliferation accompanying chondrocyte maturation in vivo and in culture. The decreases in c-myc expression and cell proliferation appear to be required for completion of maturation.

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Accession: 008656531

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PMID: 8486652


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