Nephroblastoma overexpressed (Nov) inactivation sensitizes osteoblasts to bone morphogenetic protein-2, but nov is dispensable for skeletal homeostasis.

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Bone-Development, Bone-Morphogenetic-Protein-2, Bone-and-Bones, Cell-Differentiation, Cells-Cultured, Drug-Resistance, Embryo-Mammalian, Gene-Silencing, Homeostasis, Mice-Inbred-C57BL, Mice-Knockout, Nephroblastoma-Overexpressed-Protein, Osteoblasts, Protein-Binding

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Endocrinology 2010 Jan; 151(1):221-33.


Overexpression of nephroblastoma overexpressed (Nov), a member of the Cyr 61, connective tissue growth factor, Nov family of proteins, inhibits osteoblastogenesis and causes osteopenia. The consequences of Nov inactivation on osteoblastogenesis and the postnatal skeleton are not known. To study the function of Nov, we inactivated Nov by homologous recombination. Nov null mice were maintained in a C57BL/6 genetic background after the removal of the neomycin selection cassette and compared with wild-type controls of identical genetic composition. Nov null mice were identified by genotyping and absent Nov mRNA in calvarial extracts and osteoblast cultures. Nov null mice did not exhibit developmental skeletal abnormalities or postnatal changes in weight, femoral length, body fat, or bone mineral density and appeared normal. Bone volume and trabecular number were decreased only in 1-month-old female mice. In older mice, after 7 months of age, osteoblast surface and bone formation were increased in females, and osteoclast and eroded surfaces were increased in male Nov null mice. Calvarial osteoblasts from Nov null mice displayed enhanced alkaline phosphatase activity, alkaline phosphatase mRNA, and transactivation of a bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)/phosphorylated mothers against decapentaplegic reporter construct in response to BMP-2. Similar results were obtained after the down-regulation of Nov by RNA interference in ST-2 stromal and MC3T3 cells. Osteoclast number was increased in marrow stromal cell cultures from Nov null mice. Surface plasmon resonance demonstrated direct interactions between Nov and BMP-2. In conclusion, Nov sensitizes osteoblasts to BMP-2, but Nov is dispensable for the maintenance of bone mass.