Histone acetylation influences the activity of Sox9-related transcriptional complex

Acta Med Okayama. 2010 Dec;64(6):351-7. doi: 10.18926/AMO/41320.


Chondrocyte differentiation is the fundamental process in skeletal development. From the mesenchymal condensation of chondroprogenitors to the hypertrophic maturation of chondrocytes, chondrogenesis is sequentially regulated by cross-talk among transcription factors, growth factors, and chromatin structure. The master transcription factor Sry-type HMG box (Sox) 9 has an essential role in the expression of chondrogenic genes through the association with Sox9-binding sites on its target genes. Several transcription factors and coactivators, such as Scleraxis/E47 and p300, cooperatively modulate the Sox9-dependent transcription by interacting with Sox9. The Sox9-related transcriptional apparatus activates its target gene expression through p300-mediated histone acetylation on chromatin. The transforming growth factor (TGF)-β superfamily also plays a key role in chondrocyte differentiation. The TGF-β-regulated Smad3/4 complex activates Sox9-dependent transcription on chromatin by associating with Sox9 itself, and by recruiting p300 onto Sox9. These findings suggest that the epigenetic status including histone modification and chromatin structure, directly influences Sox9-regulated chondrocyte differentiation. In this article, we review the regulators of Sox9 expression itself, modulators of posttranslational Sox9 function, and Sox9-associating factors in the Sox9-dependent epigenetic regulation during chondrogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acetylation
  • Animals
  • Chondrogenesis / physiology*
  • Epigenomics
  • Histones / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • SOX9 Transcription Factor / physiology*
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / physiology


  • Histones
  • SOX9 Transcription Factor
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta