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. 2002 Dec 31;34(6):426-33.
doi: 10.1038/emm.2002.60.

Spatio-temporal Expression Patterns of Runx2 Isoforms in Early Skeletogenesis


Spatio-temporal Expression Patterns of Runx2 Isoforms in Early Skeletogenesis

Kang-Young Choi et al. Exp Mol Med. .


Skeletogenesis occurs through either intramembranous or endochondral ossification. In addition, some parts of the skeletal components maintain their cartilaginous characteristics throughout life without mineralization. Runx2 is known to be a pivotal transcription factor for all skeletogenic processes. In this study, we examined the expression patterns of two major isoforms of Runx2 in early skeletogenesis. During intramembranous bone formation, Runx2-type I (Runx2-I) was widely expressed in osteoprogenitor cells and active osteoblasts, while Runx2-type II (Runx2-II) expression was stringently restricted to cells lining mineralized bones. Cells in permanent cartilage expressed collagen type II (Col-II) but never expressed Runx2 or Col-X. These permanent cartilages were well circumscribed by Runx2-I positive cells, in which Runx2-II was negative. In endochondral bone formation, Runx2 expression temporarily disappeared in Col-II-positive proliferating chondrocytes, but a secondary surge of Runx2-I expression occurred in the prehypertrophic zone before the mineralization of cartilage. Collectively, both Runx2 isoforms showed very similar expression patterns in active bone forming areas; however, Runx2-I has an exclusive role in the early commitment stage of intramembranous or endochondral bone forming processes or in cells surrounding permanent cartilage.

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