Your Eventual Height May Be Determined by 145 Genes

Medscape Staff

July 24, 2023

An estimated 145 "height genes" have been discovered that could determine how tall a child will grow, according to endocrinologists at Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

What to Know:

  • Chondrocytes are the primary cell type involved in bone growth, multiplying and maturing in areas of tissue called growth plates, which sit near the ends of children’s long bones and determine the child’s eventual height.

  • Using CRISPR genome-editing technology to look at 600 million mouse cartilage cells, researchers began eliminating genes that influence how the cells proliferate and mature to determine which would influence skeletal changes.

  • Researchers identified 145 genes in mouse cartilage cells that were similar to those seen in certain skeletal disorders that affect the growth development of bones, joints, and cartilage in human babies.

  • The genes have now been precisely located in the human genome and could influence height more than other genetic factors do.

  • While results from mouse cells may not mirror cellular processes in humans, it is believed that the 145 height genes could be used in clinical settings to help find treatments for patients with skeletal dysplasia and other skeletal disorders.

This is a summary of the article "Genome-wide CRISPR screening of chondrocyte maturation newly implicates genes in skeletal growth and height-associated GWAS loci" in the Journal Cell Geonomics on April 14, 2023. The full article can be found on

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