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1.  PHOSPHO1 is essential for mechanically competent mineralization and the avoidance of spontaneous fractures 
Bone  2011;48(5):1066-1074.
Phosphatases are essential for the mineralization of the extracellular matrix within the skeleton. Their precise identities and functions however remain unclear. PHOSPHO1 is a phosphoethanolamine/phosphocholine phosphatase involved in the generation of inorganic phosphate for bone mineralization. It is highly expressed at sites of mineralization in bone and cartilage. The bones of Phospho1−/− mice are hypomineralized, bowed and present with spontaneous greenstick fractures at birth. In this study we show that PHOSPHO1 is essential for mechanically competent mineralization that is able to withstand habitual load. Long bones from Phospho1−/− mice did not fracture during 3- point bending but deformed plastically. With dynamic loading nanoindentation the elastic modulus and hardness of Phospho1−/− tibiae were significantly lower than wild-type tibia. Raman microscopy revealed significantly lower mineral:matrix ratios and lower carbonate substitutions in Phospho1−/− tibia. The altered dihydroxylysinonorleucine/hydroxyllysinonorleucine and pyridoline/deoxypyridinoline collagen crosslink ratios indicated possible changes in lysyl hydroxylase-1 activity and/or bone mineralization status. The bone formation and resorption markers, N-terminal propeptide and C-terminal telopeptide of Type I collagen, were both increased in Phospho1−/− mice and this we associated with increased bone remodelling during fracture repair or an attempt to remodel a mechanically competent bone capable of withstanding physiological load. In summary these data indicate that Phospho1−/− bones are hypomineralized and, consequently, are softer and more flexible. An inability to withstand physiological loading may explain the deformations noted. We hypothesize that this phenotype is due to the reduced availability of inorganic phosphate to form hydroxyapatite during mineralization, creating an undermineralized yet active bone.
PMCID: PMC3078982  PMID: 21272676
Phospho1; biomineralization; mechanical and material properties; bone quality; hypomineralization
2.  A COL1A1 Sp1 binding site polymorphism predisposes to osteoporotic fracture by affecting bone density and quality 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  2001;107(7):899-907.
Osteoporosis is a common disease with a strong genetic component. We previously described a polymorphic Sp1 binding site in the COL1A1 gene that has been associated with osteoporosis in several populations. Here we explore the molecular mechanisms underlying this association. A meta-analysis showed significant associations between COL1A1 “s” alleles and bone mineral density (BMD), body mass index (BMI), and osteoporotic fractures. The association with fracture was stronger than expected on the basis of the observed differences in BMD and BMI, suggesting an additional effect on bone strength. Gel shift assays showed increased binding affinity of the “s” allele for Sp1 protein, and primary RNA transcripts derived from the “s” allele were approximately three times more abundant than “S” allele–derived transcripts in “Ss” heterozygotes. Collagen produced from osteoblasts cultured from “Ss” heterozygotes had an increased ratio of α1(I) protein relative to α2(I), and this was accompanied by an increased ratio of COL1A1 mRNA relative to COL1A2. Finally, the yield strength of bone derived from “Ss” individuals was reduced when compared with bone derived from “SS” subjects. We conclude that the COL1A1 Sp1 polymorphism is a functional genetic variant that predisposes to osteoporosis by complex mechanisms involving changes in bone mass and bone quality.
PMCID: PMC199568  PMID: 11285309

Results 1-2 (2)