Lineage-specific differences and regulatory networks governing human chondrocyte development


To address large gaps in our understanding of the molecular regulation of articular and growth plate cartilage development in humans, we used our directed differentiation approach to generate these distinct cartilage tissues from human embryonic stem cells. The resulting transcriptomic profiles of hESC-derived articular and growth plate chondrocytes were similar to fetal epiphyseal and growth plate chondrocytes, with respect to genes both known and previously unknown to cartilage biology. With the goal to characterize the regulatory landscapes accompanying these respective transcriptomes, we mapped chromatin accessibility in hESC-derived chondrocyte lineages, and mouse embryonic chondrocytes, using ATAC-sequencing. Integration of the expression dataset with the differentially accessible genomic regions revealed lineage-specific gene regulatory networks. We validated functional interactions of two transcription factors (TFs) (RUNX2 in growth plate chondrocytes and RELA in articular chondrocytes) with their predicted genomic targets. The maps we provide thus represent a framework for probing regulatory interactions governing chondrocyte differentiation. This work constitutes a substantial step towards comprehensive and comparative molecular characterizations of distinct chondrogenic lineages and sheds new light on human cartilage development and biology. © 2023, Richard, Pregizer et al.

Authors Richard D, Pregizer S, Venkatasubramanian D, Raftery RM, Muthuirulan P, Liu Z, Capellini TD, Craft AM
Journal eLife
Publication Date 2023 Mar 15;12
PubMed 36920035
PubMed Central PMC10069868
DOI 10.7554/elife.79925

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