Current Osteoporosis Reports

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 146–154 | Cite as

Transcriptional Mechanisms of Secondary Fracture Healing

  • Joseph L. Roberts
  • David N. Paglia
  • Hicham Drissi
Orthopedic Management of Fractures (S Bukata and L Gerstenfeld, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Orthopedic Management of Fractures


Purpose of Review

Growing evidence supports the critical role of transcriptional mechanisms in promoting the spatial and temporal progression of bone healing. In this review, we evaluate and discuss new transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulatory mechanisms of secondary bone repair, along with emerging evidence for epigenetic regulation of fracture healing.

Recent Findings

Using the candidate gene approach has identified new roles for several transcription factors in mediating the reactive, reparative, and remodeling phases of fracture repair. Further characterization of the different epigenetic controls of fracture healing and fracture-driven transcriptome changes between young and aged fracture has identified key biological pathways that may yield therapeutic targets. Furthermore, exogenously delivered microRNA to post-transcriptionally control gene expression is quickly becoming an area with great therapeutic potential.


Activation of specific transcriptional networks can promote the proper progression of secondary bone healing. Targeting these key factors using small molecules or through microRNA may yield effective therapies to enhance and possibly accelerate fracture healing.


Transcription factor Gene expression Bone MicroRNA Epigenetics Transcriptome 


Funding Information

This study was supported by the National Institutes of Health (grant number R01AR063661).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph L. Roberts
    • 1
    • 2
  • David N. Paglia
    • 3
  • Hicham Drissi
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Orthopaedics, School of MedicineEmory UniversityAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Nutrition and Health Sciences, Laney Graduate SchoolEmory UniversityAtlantaUSA
  3. 3.Department of Orthopaedics, New Jersey Medical SchoolRutgers UniversityNewarkUSA
  4. 4.Atlanta VA Medical CenterDecaturUSA

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