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PLoS One. 2016 Jul 28;11(7):e0159375. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0159375. eCollection 2016.

Crucial Role of Elovl6 in Chondrocyte Growth and Differentiation during Growth Plate Development in Mice.

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Department of Internal Medicine (Endocrinology and Metabolism), Faculty of Medicine, University of Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.
Graduate School of Nutritional Science, Sagami Women's University, Kanagawa, Japan.
International Institute for Integrative Sleep Medicine, University of Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.
AMED-CREST, Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development, Tokyo, Japan.


ELOVL family member 6, elongation of very long chain fatty acids (Elovl6) is a microsomal enzyme, which regulates the elongation of C12-16 saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids. Elovl6 has been shown to be associated with various pathophysiologies including insulin resistance, atherosclerosis, and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. To investigate a potential role of Elovl6 during bone development, we here examined a skeletal phenotype of Elovl6 knockout (Elovl6-/-) mice. The Elovl6-/- skeleton was smaller than that of controls, but exhibited no obvious patterning defects. Histological analysis revealed a reduced length of proliferating and an elongated length of hypertrophic chondrocyte layer, and decreased trabecular bone in Elovl6-/- mice compared with controls. These results were presumably due to a modest decrease in chondrocyte proliferation and accelerated differentiation of cells of the chondrocyte lineage. Consistent with the increased length of the hypertrophic chondrocyte layer in Elovl6-/- mice, Collagen10α1 was identified as one of the most affected genes by ablation of Elovl6 in chondrocytes. Furthermore, this elevated expression of Collagen10α1 of Elovl6-null chondrocytes was likely associated with increased levels of Foxa2/a3 and Mef2c mRNA expression. Relative increases in protein levels of nuclear Foxa2 and cytoplasmic histone deacethylase 4/5/7 were also observed in Elovl6 knockdown cells of the chondrocyte lineage. Collectively, our data suggest that Elovl6 plays a critical role for proper development of embryonic growth plate.

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