Histone deacetylases in skeletal development and bone mass maintenance

Meghan E. McGee-Lawrence, Jennifer J. Westendorf

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


The skeleton is a multifunctional and regenerative organ. Dynamic activities within the bone microenvironment necessitate and instigate rapid and temporal changes in gene expression within the cells (osteoclasts, osteoblasts, and osteocytes) responsible for skeletal maintenance. Regulation of gene expression is controlled, in part, by histone deacetylases (Hdacs), which are intracellular enzymes that directly affect chromatin structure and transcription factor activity. Key roles for several Hdacs in bone development and biology have been elucidated though in vitro and in vivo models. Recent findings suggest that clinical usage of small molecule Hdac inhibitors for conditions like epilepsy, bipolar disorder, cancer, and a multitude of other ailments may have unintended effects on bone cell populations. Here we review the progress that has been made in the last decade in understanding how Hdacs contribute to bone development and maintenance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Mar 15 2011


  • Hdac
  • Osteoblast
  • Osteoclast
  • Valproate
  • Vorinostat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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