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Biofactors. 2010 Jan-Feb;36(1):25-32. doi: 10.1002/biof.72.

Regulation of gene expression in osteoblasts.

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Department of Diagnostic and Biological Sciences, School of Dentistry, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55905, USA.


In recent years, much progress has been made in understanding the factors that regulate the gene expression program that underlies the induction, proliferation, differentiation, and maturation of osteoblasts. A large and growing number of transcription factors make important contributions to the precise control of osteoblast formation and function. It has become increasingly clear that these diverse transcription factors and the signals that regulate their activity cannot be viewed as discrete, separate signaling pathways. Rather, they form a highly interconnected, cooperative network that permits gene expression to be closely regulated. There has also been a substantial increase in our understanding of the mechanistic control of gene expression by cofactors such as acetyltransferases and histone deacetylases. The purpose of this review is to highlight recent progress in understanding the major transcription factors and epigenetic coregulators, including histone deacetylases and microRNAs, involved in osteoblastogenesis and the mechanisms that determine their functions as regulators of gene expression.

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