Histone deacetylase (Hdac3) inhibitors are emerging therapies for many diseases including cancers and neurological disorders; however, these drugs are teratogens to the developing skeleton. Hdac3 is essential for proper endochondral ossification as its deletion in chondrocytes increases cytokine signaling and the expression of matrix remodeling enzymes. Here we explored the mechanism by which Hdac3 controls matrix metalloproteinase (Mmp)-13 expression in chondrocytes. In Hdac3-depleted chondrocytes, extracellular signal-regulated kinase (Erk)1/2 as well as its downstream substrate, Runx2, were hyperphosphorylated as a result of decreased expression and activity of the Erk1/2 specific phosphatase, Dusp6. Erk1/2 kinase inhibitors and Dusp6 adenoviruses reduced Mmp13 expression and partially rescued matrix production in Hdac3-deficient chondrocytes. Postnatal chondrocyte-specific deletion of Hdac3 with an inducible Col2a1-Cre caused premature production of pErk1/2 and Mmp13 in the growth plate. Thus, Hdac3 controls the temporal and spatial expression of tissue-remodeling genes in chondrocytes to ensure proper endochondral ossification during development.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by research and training grants from the National Institutes of Health (R01 AR68103, R01 DE20194, T32 AR56950, F31 AR067646, K01 AR65397).