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Biological mechanisms of bone and cartilage remodelling—genomic perspective

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Rapid advancements in the field of genomics, enabled by the achievements of the Human Genome Project and the complete decoding of the human genome, have opened an unimaginable set of opportunities for scientists to further unveil delicate mechanisms underlying the functional homeostasis of biological systems. The trend of applying whole-genome analysis techniques has also contributed to a better understanding of physiological and pathological processes involved in homeostasis of bone and cartilage tissues. Gene expression profiling studies have yielded novel insights into the complex interplay of osteoblast and osteoclast regulation, as well as paracrine and endocrine control of bone and cartilage remodelling. Mechanisms of new bone formation responsible for fracture healing and distraction osteogenesis, as well as healing of joint cartilage defects, have also been extensively studied. Microarray experiments have been especially useful in studying pathological processes involved in diseases such as osteoporosis or bone tumours. Existing results show that microarrays hold great promise in areas such as identification of targets for novel therapies or development of new biomarkers and classifiers in skeletal diseases.


Les progrès rapides réalisés dans le cadre de la génétique nous ont permis d’achever le projet de génome humain et de compléter son décodage, ceci nous a permis de mieux comprendre également la physiologie et la pathologie de l’homéostasie des tissus osseux cartilagineux, l’expression des gênes interférant sur la régulation des ostéoclastes ou du remodelage osseux par l’intermédiaire d’un contrôle paracrine et endocrine. De même, en ce qui concerne les mécanismes responsables de la consolidation des fractures, de l’ostéogénèse en distraction, de la cicatrisation des lésions cartilagineuses. Ces classifications et ces expérimentations sont également utiles pour comprendre les processus pathologiques tel que l’ostéoporose ou les tumeurs osseuses. Ceci permettra de mettre en route de nouvelles thérapeutiques ou de développer de nouveaux marqueurs afin de pouvoir classer les lésions osseuses.

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  1. The genome is the complete set of sequences in the genetic material of an organism. It includes the sequences of each chromosome plus any DNA in organelles.

  2. The proteome is the complete set of proteins that is expressed by the entire genome. Because some genes code for multiple proteins, the size of the proteome is greater than the number of genes.


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Correspondence to F. Borovecki.

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Borovecki, F., Pecina-Slaus, N. & Vukicevic, S. Biological mechanisms of bone and cartilage remodelling—genomic perspective. International Orthopaedics (SICO 31, 799–805 (2007).

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