International Journal of Medical Sciences

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21 November 2018

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Int J Med Sci 2018; 15(12):1415-1422. doi:10.7150/ijms.26741


Role of TCF/LEF Transcription Factors in Bone Development and Osteogenesis

Zhengqiang Li1,2,*, Zhimin Xu1,3,*, Congcong Duan1,3, Weiwei Liu1,3, Jingchun Sun1,3, Bing Han1,3,✉

1. Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, School of Stomatology, Jilin University, Changchun 130021, China
2. Stomatological Hospital of Southern Medical University & Guangdong Provincial Stomatological Hospital, Guangzhou 510280, China
3. Jilin Provincial Key Laboratory of Tooth Development and Bone Remodeling, Changchun 130021, China
* These authors contributed equally to this article


Bone formation occurs by two distinct mechanisms, namely, periosteal ossification and endochondral ossification. In both mechanisms, osteoblasts play an important role in the secretion and mineralization of bone-specific extracellular matrix. Differentiation and maturation of osteoblasts is a prerequisite to bone formation and is regulated by many factors. Recent experiments have shown that transcription factors play an important role in regulating osteoblast differentiation, proliferation, and function. Osteogenesis related transcription factors are the central targets and key mediators of the function of growth factors, such as cytokines. Transcription factors play a key role in the transformation of mesenchymal progenitor cells into functional osteoblasts. These transcription factors are closely linked with each other and in conjunction with bone-related signaling pathways form a complex network that regulates osteoblast differentiation and bone formation. In this paper, we discuss the structure of T-cell factor/lymphoid enhancer factor (TCF/LEF) and its role in embryonic skeletal development and the crosstalk with related signaling pathways and factors.

Keywords: TCF/LEF Transcription Factors, signal transduction pathway, Osteogenesis

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC) license ( See for full terms and conditions.
How to cite this article:
Li Z, Xu Z, Duan C, Liu W, Sun J, Han B. Role of TCF/LEF Transcription Factors in Bone Development and Osteogenesis. Int J Med Sci 2018; 15(12):1415-1422. doi:10.7150/ijms.26741. Available from