The longitudinal growth of endochondral bones is governed by proliferation and hypertrophic differentiation of growth plate chondrocytes. Numerous growth factors and hormones have been implicated in the regulation of these processes, but the intracellular mechanisms involved remain much less understood. We had suggested a role of cell-cycle genes in the integration of these diverse extracellular signals and their translation into coordinated proliferation and differentiation of chondrocytes. Numerous recent studies have provided support for such a scenario and provide novel insights into the regulation and function of cell-cycle genes in chondrocytes. This review article summarizes recent progress in the field. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.