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Hum Mol Genet. 2007 Jul 15;16(14):1661-75. Epub 2007 May 17.

Filamin B mutations cause chondrocyte defects in skeletal development.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Filamin B (FLNB) is a cytoplasmic protein that regulates the cytoskeletal network by cross-linking actin, linking cell membrane to the cytoskeleton and regulating intracellular signaling pathways responsible for skeletal development (Stossel, T.P., Condeelis, J., Cooley, L., Hartwig, J.H., Noegel, A., Schleicher, M. and Shapiro, S.S. (2001) Filamins as integrators of cell mechanics and signalling. Nat. Rev. Mol. Cell Biol., 2, 138-145). Mutations in FLNB cause human skeletal disorders [boomerang dysplasia, spondylocarpotarsal (SCT), Larsen, and atelosteogenesis I/III syndromes], which are characterized by disrupted vertebral segmentation, joint formation and endochondral ossification [Krakow, D., Robertson, S.P., King, L.M., Morgan, T., Sebald, E.T., Bertolotto, C., Wachsmann-Hogiu, S., Acuna, D., Shapiro, S.S., Takafuta, T. et al. (2004) Mutations in the gene encoding filamin B disrupt vertebral segmentation, joint formation and skeletogenesis. Nat. Genet., 36, 405-410; Bicknell, L.S., Morgan, T., Bonafe, L., Wessels, M.W., Bialer, M.G., Willems, P.J., Cohn, D.H., Krakow, D. and Robertson, S.P. (2005) Mutations in FLNB cause boomerang dysplasia. J. Med. Genet., 42, e43]. Here we show that Flnb deficient mice have shortened distal limbs with small body size, and develop fusion of the ribs and vertebrae, abnormal spinal curvatures, and dysmorphic facial/calvarial bones, similar to the human phenotype. Characterization of the mutant mice demonstrated increased apoptosis along the bone periphery of the distal appendages, consistent with reduced bone width. No changes in the initial proliferative rate of chondrocytes were observed, but the progressive differentiation of chondrocyte precursors was impaired, consistent with reduced bone length. The extracellular matrix appeared disrupted and phosphorylated beta1-integrin (a collagen receptor and Flnb binding partner) expression was diminished in the mutant growth plate. Like integrin-deficient chondrocytes, adhesion to the ECM was decreased in Flnb(-/-) chondrocytes, and inhibition of beta1-integrin in these cells led to further impairments in cell spreading. These data suggest that disruption of the ECM-beta1-integrin-Flnb pathway contributes to defects in vertebral and distal limb development, similar to those seen in the human autosomal recessive SCT due to Flnb mutations.

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