Investigations from our laboratory have revealed that Notch1 plays a critical role in osteoblastic cell differentiation and function, and its expression n immature osteoblasts causes osteopenia secondary to an inhibitory effect on osteoblastogenesis. Although Notch2 appears to have an important and distinct function from Notch1, most of the work conducted in skeletal cells has examined the effects of Notch1, and there is limited information on the function of Notch2 in the skeleton. Hajdu-Cheney Syndrome (HCS), a devastating disease characterized by acro-osteolysis, osteoporosis and fractures, was recently attributed to gain-of-function mutations of NOTCH2 leading to NOTCH2 protein stabilization.
The aim of the proposed research is to create and study mouse models of HCS, to understand the skeletal disease and mechanisms involved in HCS. As a consequence, the function of Notch2 in the skeleton will be defined.
Our specific aims are: (1) To characterize the HCS and determine the function of Notch2 by studying global and conditional mouse models of Notch2HCS mutant activation in skeletal cells. The skeletal phenotype of global and cell lineage-specific Notch2HCS conditional by inversion (COIN) mutants will be compared to that of wild type mice and determined by contact radiography, densitometry, micro CT scanning and histomorphometry. The biomechanical properties of the skeleton from HCS mutant mice will be analyzed;(2) To determine the mechanism responsible for HCS in the skeleton. To this end, mechanisms responsible for the skeletal phenotype will be established, and we will determine whether the Notch canonical signaling pathway is responsible for the HCS phenotype. In addition, we will explore interactions with Wnt signaling, and determine whether Notch2 mRNA and protein are stabilized in cells from Notch2HCS mutants and explain the phenotype observed. Levels of transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of genes modified by Notch2HCS mutants will be examined in vitro;and (3) To determine the role of Notch target gene(s) in the skeleton and in the HCS. To this end, we will determine whether the Notch2HCS mutant phenotype is secondary to the activation of Hairy-Enhancer of Split (Hes) 1. Notch2HCS mutants will be studied in the context (or not) of the conditional Hes1 inactivation for changes in their skeletal phenotype determined by micro CT scanning and histomorphometry and for changes in osteoblastic gene expression.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Research Project (R01)
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Skeletal Biology Structure and Regeneration Study Section (SBSR)
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Malozowski, Saul N
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St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center
United States
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Canalis, Ernesto; Zanotti, Stefano; Smerdel-Ramoya, Anna (2014) Connective tissue growth factor is a target of notch signaling in cells of the osteoblastic lineage. Bone 64:273-80
Canalis, Ernesto; Kranz, Lauren; Zanotti, Stefano (2014) Nemo-like kinase regulates postnatal skeletal homeostasis. J Cell Physiol 229:1736-43
Zanotti, Stefano; Kalajzic, Ivo; Aguila, Hector Leonardo et al. (2014) Sex and genetic factors determine osteoblastic differentiation potential of murine bone marrow stromal cells. PLoS One 9:e86757
Zanotti, Stefano; Canalis, Ernesto (2013) Notch signaling in skeletal health and disease. Eur J Endocrinol 168:R95-103
Canalis, Ernesto (2013) Wnt signalling in osteoporosis: mechanisms and novel therapeutic approaches. Nat Rev Endocrinol 9:575-83
Zanotti, Stefano; Canalis, Ernesto (2013) Notch suppresses nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) transactivation and Nfatc1 expression in chondrocytes. Endocrinology 154:762-72
Canalis, Ernesto; Adams, Douglas J; Boskey, Adele et al. (2013) Notch signaling in osteocytes differentially regulates cancellous and cortical bone remodeling. J Biol Chem 288:25614-25
Zanotti, Stefano; Smerdel-Ramoya, Anna; Canalis, Ernesto (2013) Nuclear factor of activated T-cells (NFAT)C2 inhibits Notch receptor signaling in osteoblasts. J Biol Chem 288:624-32
Zanotti, Stefano; Canalis, Ernesto (2013) Hairy and Enhancer of Split-related with YRPW motif (HEY)2 regulates bone remodeling in mice. J Biol Chem 288:21547-57
Canalis, Ernesto; Parker, Kristen; Feng, Jian Q et al. (2013) Osteoblast lineage-specific effects of notch activation in the skeleton. Endocrinology 154:623-34

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