Careful orchestration of bone formation, maintenance and repair is necessary to prevent abnormal bone formation (osteopetrosis) or pathological bone degradation (osteoperosis). Ortega et al. show that finely balanced bone dynamics involve concomitant metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9)-induced bone degradation, VEGF-regulated blood vessel formation and osteoclast regulation of the growth plate. The interplay of these components promotes endochondrial ossification and is necessary for normal bone formation.

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