We are excited to announce that work from the lab of Matthew J. Hilton, PhD, was recently published in the Journal of Cell Science and was a highlighted article in the June issue by the editors:
The Notch signalling pathway is a known regulator of various aspects of skeletal development. Some members of the HES and HEY families of transcription factors can mediate specific aspects of Notch function in certain systems, but it is unknown whether any of these Notch effectors can regulate processes that are involved in cartilage development. In their article on page 2145, Matthew Hilton and colleagues use specific HES and HEY gain- or loss-of-function approaches to investigate the relevance of these factors in cartilage biology. The authors show that HES1 and HES5 suppress chondrogenesis and promote the onset of chondrocyte hypertrophy, with potentially some overlap of the functions between these regulators. Interestingly, HES5, but not HES1, can directly regulate Sox9 transcription to coordinate cartilage development. The authors find that neither HEY1 nor HEYL has a role in the regulation of chondrogenesis or chondrocyte hypertrophy, and none of the HES or HEY factors appear to be required for normal cartilage matrix catabolism. This paper reports the first in vivo genetic evidence demonstrating that the Notch effectors HES1 and HES5 act as regulators of chondrogenesis and chondrocyte hypertrophy during cartilage development. This work, therefore, provides new insights into the potential targets of Notch function during skeletal development.