Physiology and Pharmacology Publications

ECM signaling in cartilage development and endochondral ossification

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Current Topics in Developmental Biology

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© 2019 Elsevier Inc. During cartilage development chondrocytes undergo a multi-step process characterized by consecutive changes in cell morphology and gene expression. Cell proliferation, polarity, differentiation, and migration are influenced by chemical and mechanical signaling between the extracellular matrix (ECM) and the cell. Several structurally diverse transmembrane receptors such as integrins, discoidin domain receptor 2 (DDR 2), and CD44 mediate the crosstalk between cells and their ECM. However, the contribution of cell-matrix interactions during early chondrogenesis and further cartilage development through cell receptors and their signal transduction pathways is still not fully understood. Determination of receptor signaling pathways and the function of downstream targets will aid in a better understanding of musculoskeletal pathologies such as chondrodysplasia, and the development of new approaches for the treatment of cartilage disorders. We will summarize recent findings, linking cell receptors and their potential signaling pathways to the control of chondrocyte behavior during early chondrogenesis and endochondral ossification.

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