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Dev Growth Differ. 2012 May;54(4):474-80. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-169X.2012.01333.x. Epub 2012 Mar 15.

OBIF, an osteoblast induction factor, plays an essential role in bone formation in association with osteoblastogenesis.

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  • 1Department of Developmental Biology, Osaka Bioscience Institute, 6-2-4 Furuedai, Suita, Osaka, 565-0874, Japan.


In vertebrate bone formation, the functional mechanisms of transcription factors in osteoblastic differentiation have been relatively well elucidated; however, the exact roles of cell-extrinsic molecules are less clear. We previously identified human and mouse Obif, an osteoblast induction factor, also known as Tmem119, which encodes a single transmembrane protein. OBIF is predominantly expressed in osteoblasts in mouse. While exogenous Obif expression stimulated osteoblastic differentiation, knockdown of Obif inhibits the osteoblastic differentiation of pre-osteoblastic MC3T3-E1 cells. In order to investigate an in vivo role of OBIF in bone formation, we generated Obif-deficient mice by targeted gene disruption. Analyses of micro-computed tomography (mCT) revealed that Obif(-/-) mice exhibit significantly reduced cortical thickness in the mid-shaft of the femur at postnatal day 14 (P14). Furthermore, progressive bone hypoplasia is observed after 8 weeks. The expression levels of osteoblast marker genes, Collagen 1a1, Osteopontin, Runx2, and Osterix, in the calvaria were decreased in Obif(-/-) mice at P4. These data indicate that Obif plays an essential role in bone formation through regulating osteoblastogenesis.

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