Research ArticleBONE DEVELOPMENT

Histone deacetylase 3 supports endochondral bone formation by controlling cytokine signaling and matrix remodeling

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Science Signaling  09 Aug 2016:
Vol. 9, Issue 440, pp. ra79
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aaf3273

Growing bones need histone deacetylase

Histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors may be therapeutic in various diseases, but their use causes birth defects and is detrimental to growing bones or the repair of injured bones. Cartilage provides the bone-promoting matrix and bone-forming progenitor cells required for the formation of long bones. Carpio et al. found that HDAC3 promotes pre- and postnatal bone growth by restricting the secretion of inflammatory factors from cartilage cells called chondrocytes. Mice lacking chondrocyte-specific Hdac3 died in utero, and inducible transgenic mice lacking postnatal HDAC3 in chondrocytes had impaired long bone development. Chondrocytes from these mice had increased acetylation of a proinflammatory transcription factor as well as of histones in and near loci encoding secreted proinflammatory factors that promote matrix degradation and the proliferation and activity of bone-resorbing osteoclasts. The findings explain why HDAC inhibitors cause skeletal defects and are ill-advised for children and pregnant women as well as for patients with bone fractures.