Regulation of chondrocyte differentiation by Cbfa1

Mech Dev. 1999 Feb;80(2):159-70. doi: 10.1016/s0925-4773(98)00210-x.


Cbfa1, a developmentally expressed transcription factor of the runt family, was recently shown to be essential for osteoblast differentiation. We have investigated the role of Cbfa1 in endochondral bone formation using Cbfa1-deficient mice. Histology and in situ hybridization with probes for indian hedgehog (Ihh), collagen type X and osteopontin performed at E13.5, E14.5 and E17.5 demonstrated a lack of hypertrophic chondrocytes in the anlagen of the humerus and the phalanges and a delayed onset of hypertrophy in radius/ulna in Cbfa1-/- mice. Detailed analysis of Cbfa1 expression using whole mount in situ hybridization and a lacZ reporter gene reveled strong expression not only in osteoblasts but also in pre-hypertrophic and hypertrophic chondrocytes. Our studies identify Cbfa1 as a major positive regulator of chondrocyte differentiation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cartilage / cytology
  • Cartilage / embryology*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Size
  • Collagen / biosynthesis
  • Core Binding Factor Alpha 1 Subunit
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Genes, Reporter
  • Hedgehog Proteins
  • Humerus / embryology
  • Hypertrophy
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Lac Operon
  • Mesoderm / cytology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Neoplasm Proteins*
  • Osteoblasts / metabolism
  • Osteopontin
  • Proteins / physiology
  • Radius / embryology
  • Sialoglycoproteins / physiology
  • Trans-Activators*
  • Transcription Factors / deficiency
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / physiology*
  • Ulna / embryology


  • Core Binding Factor Alpha 1 Subunit
  • Hedgehog Proteins
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Proteins
  • Sialoglycoproteins
  • Spp1 protein, mouse
  • Trans-Activators
  • Transcription Factors
  • Osteopontin
  • Collagen