ESET histone methyltransferase is essential to hypertrophic differentiation of growth plate chondrocytes and formation of epiphyseal plates

06/06/2013

ESET histone
methyltransferase is essential to hypertrophic differentiation of growth plate
chondrocytes and formation of epiphyseal plates

Yang L, Lawson KA, Teteak CJ, Zou J, Hacquebord J, Patterson D, Ghatan AC,
Mei Q, Zielinska-Kwiatkowska A, Bain SD, Fernandes
RJ
, Chansky HA. Dev Biol. 2013
May 4. doi:pii: S0012-1606(13)00225-X. 10.1016/j.ydbio.2013.04.031. [Epub ahead
of print] PMID: 23652029

 A team of researchers at the Department of Orthopaedics
and Sports Medicine—led by faculty member, Liu Yang—have discovered that the
protein ESET is fundamentally important in skeletal development.  ESET is a histone methyltransferase that
catalyzes methylation of histones on DNA. 
Their study used knock-out mice that were deficient in the ESET protein.  Comparisons with wild type mice found several
key differences in the knock-out mice: 1) chondroctyes rapidly underwent
hypertrophy, depleting chondrocytes that would otherwise form the epiphyseal
plate 2) long bone and trabecular (spongy) bone growth were significantly
stunted.  The researchers went further to
explain how the ESET protein functions biochemically and how it interacts with
other transcription factors.  These
findings have significance in other fields as well, for example malignant melanomas
have been shown to produce much higher levels of ESET than normal
melanocytes.  The results of this study
show just how important the ESET protein is in regulating cellular
differentiation.

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