The control of gene expression in articular chondrocytes is an essential factor in maintaining the homoeostasis of extracellular matrix synthesis and turnover necessary in healthy articular cartilage. Although much is known of how steady-state levels of gene expression and rates of transcription are altered, there has been a poorer understanding of gene control at the post-transcriptional level and its relevance to cartilage health and disease. Now, an emerging picture is developing of the importance of this tier of gene regulation, driven by in vitro studies and mouse genetic models. This level of cellular regulation represents an as yet unexplored area of potential intervention for the treatment of degenerative cartilage disorders such as osteoarthritis.

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