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J Bone Miner Res. 2019 Jun;34(6):1155-1168. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.3690. Epub 2019 Mar 6.

Inactivating Mutation in IRF8 Promotes Osteoclast Transcriptional Programs and Increases Susceptibility to Tooth Root Resorption.

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Division of Periodontology, University of Maryland School of Dentistry, Baltimore, MD, USA.
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, MD, USA.
Division of Biosciences, College of Dentistry, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA.
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA.
Division of Graduate Education, Detroit Mercy Dental, Detroit, MI, USA.
Department of Developmental and Surgical Sciences, University of Minnesota School of Dentistry, Minneapolis, MN, USA.


This is the first study to our knowledge to report a novel mutation in the interferon regulatory factor 8 gene (IRF8G388S ) associated with multiple idiopathic tooth root resorption, a form of periodontal disease. The IRF8G388S variant in the highly conserved C-terminal motif is predicted to alter the protein structure, likely impairing IRF8 function. Functional assays demonstrated that the IRF8G388S mutant promoted osteoclastogenesis and failed to inhibit NFATc1-dependent transcriptional activation when compared with IRF8WT control. Further, similar to subjects with heterozygous IRF8G388S mutation, Irf8+/- mice exhibited increased osteoclast activity in the mandibular alveolar bone surrounding molar teeth. Immunohistochemistry illustrated increased NFATc1 expression in the dentoalveolar region of Irf8-/- and Irf8+/- mice when compared with Irf8+/+ controls. Genomewide analyses revealed that IRF8 constitutively bound to regulatory regions of several thousand genes in osteoclast precursors, and genetic aberration of IRF8 significantly enhanced many osteoclast-specific transcripts. Collectively, this study delineates the critical role of IRF8 in defining osteoclast lineage and osteoclast transcriptional program, which may help in better understanding of various osteoclast-mediated disorders, including periodontal disease.



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