Bone morphogenetic protein 2 signaling in osteoclasts is negatively regulated by the BMP antagonist, twisted gastrulation

Lan Pham, Kayla Beyer, Eric D Jensen, Julio E Sotillo Rodriguez, Julia Davydova, Masato Yamamoto, Anna Petryk, Rajaram Gopalakrishnan, Kim Mansky

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32 Scopus citations


Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) have been shown to regulate both osteoblasts and osteoclasts. We previously reported that BMP2 could directly enhance RANKL-mediated osteoclast differentiation by increasing the size and number of osteoclasts. Similarly, genetic deletion of the BMP antagonist Twisted gastrulation (TWSG1) in mice, resulted in an enhancement of osteoclast formation, activity and osteopenia. This was accompanied by increased levels of phosphorylated Smad (pSmad) 1/5/8 in Twsg1-/- osteoclasts in vitro. The purpose of this study was to develop an adenoviral vector overexpressing Twsg1 as a means of inhibiting osteoclast activity. We demonstrate that overexpressing TWSG1 in primary osteoclasts decreased the size and number of multinuclear TRAP-positive osteoclasts, expression of osteoclast genes, and resorption ability. Overexpression of TWSG1 did not affect osteoclast proliferation or apoptosis. However, overexpression of TWSG1 decreased the levels of pSmad 1/5/8 in osteoclasts. Addition of exogenous BMP2 to osteoclasts overexpressing TWSG1 rescued the size and levels of pSmad 1/5/8 compared to cultures infected with a control virus. Finally, TWSG1 overexpression in osteoclasts isolated from the Twsg1-/- mice rescued size of the osteoclasts while further addition of exogenous BMP2 reversed the effect of TWSG1 overexpression and increased the size of the osteoclasts similar to control virus infected cells. Taken together, we demonstrate that overexpressing TWSG1 in osteoclasts via an adenoviral vector results in inhibition of osteoclastogenesis and may provide a potential therapy for inhibiting osteoclast activity in a localized manner.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)793-803
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Cellular Biochemistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2011


  • Bone
  • Bone morphogenetic Protein 2
  • Osteoclast
  • Twisted gastrulation


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