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Sci Rep. 2017 Jan 20;7:40692. doi: 10.1038/srep40692.

Development of an efficient screening system to identify novel bone metabolism-related genes using the exchangeable gene trap mutagenesis mouse models.

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Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, Department of Medicine of Sensory and Motor Organs, Faculty of Medicine, University of Miyazaki, Japan.
Institute of Resource Development and Analysis, Kumamoto University, Japan.


Despite numerous genetic studies on bone metabolism, understanding of the specific mechanisms is lacking. We developed an efficient screening system to identify novel genes involved in bone metabolism using mutant mouse strains registered with the Exchangeable Gene Trap Clones (EGTC) database. From 1278 trap clones in the EGTC database, 52 candidate lines were selected in the first screening, determined based on "EST profile", "X-gal", "Related article", and "Novel gene". For the second screening, bone morphometric analysis, biomechanical strength analysis, bone X-gal staining, etc. were performed on candidate lines. Forty-two male trap lines (80.8%) showed abnormalities with either bone morphometric analysis or biomechanical strength analysis. In the screening process, X-gal staining was significantly efficient (P = 0.0057). As examples, Lbr and Nedd4 trap lines selected using the screening system showed significant bone decrease and fragility, suggesting a relationship with osteoblast differentiation. This screening system using EGTC mouse lines is extremely efficient for identifying novel genes involved in bone metabolism. The gene trap lines identified as abnormal using this screening approach are highly likely to trap important genes for bone metabolism. These selected trap mice will be valuable for use as novel bio-resources in bone research.

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