Faculty Advisor

Adams, David S.

Project Center

Worcester, MA


Runx2, a transcription factor essential for osteoblast maturation, is also expressed in embryonic pre-cartilaginous mesenchymal condensations. However, regulatory controls for expression of Runx2 during skeletal formation are unknown. We hypothesize that Runx2 is regulated by both activators and repressors during the transition from mesenchyme to cartilage and bone. Our results demonstrate that Runx2 is a transcriptional target of Nkx3.2, a homeodomain regulatory factor for chondrogenesis. Runx2 repression by Nkx3.2 is necessary for activation of a chondrocyte-specific program of gene expression. Gene regulation in relation to several Homeodomain (HD) proteins during chondrocyte/osteoblast differentiation using Chromatin Immunoprecipitation assays was characterized in these studies. We find that multiple HD proteins constitute a regulatory network that mediates development through sequential association of HD proteins with promoter regulatory elements.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2005


Biology and Biotechnology

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Biology and Biotechnology