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Hearing loss study reveals role of bone hardness in tissue function
Date:11/17/2010

scovered that TGF-β regulates Runx2 to establish the physical property of the extracellular matrix of the cochlea bone. "This told us," said Chang, "that Runx2 -- a key transcriptional regulator that helps the cell selects its cell fate -- also controls the physical properties of the matrix."

Finally, by manipulating Runx2 activity through TGF-β, the team determined that the physical quality of the bone matrix affects hearing.

Now, the team is investigating the molecules "downstream" of Runx2, to gain further insight into the mechanism regulating the physical properties of bone. They also are studying if these mechanisms define the stiffness of matrices in other skeletal tissues.

"We want to see if TGF-β targets the cartilage transcription factor to make cartilage more or less stiff," Alliston said. "We think that the stiffness is degraded in arthritis and that this further disrupts chondrocyte cells, exacerbating the disease."


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Contact: Jennifer O'Brien
jennifer.obrien@ucsf.edu
415-502-6397
University of California - San Francisco
Source:Eurekalert

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