Endochondral ossification orchestrates formation of the vertebrate skeleton and is often induced during disease and repair processes of the musculoskeletal system. Here we show that the protein phosphatase Phlpp1 regulates endochondral ossification. Phlpp1 null mice exhibit decreased bone mass and notable changes in the growth plate, including increased BrdU incorporation and matrix production. Phosphorylation of known Phlpp1 substrates, Akt2, PKC, and p70 S6 kinase, were enhanced in ex vivo cultured Phlpp1-/-chondrocytes. Furthermore, Phlpp1 deficiency diminished FoxO1 levels leading to increased expression of Fgf18, Mek/Erk activity, and chondrocyte metabolic activity. Phlpp inhibitors also increased matrix content, Fgf18 production and Erk1/2 phosphorylation. Chemical inhibition of Fgfr-signaling abrogated elevated Erk1/2 phosphorylation and metabolic activity in Phlpp1-null cultures. These results demonstrate that Phlpp1 controls chondrogenesis via multiple mechanisms and that Phlpp1 inhibition could be a strategy to promote cartilage regeneration and repair.
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© 2015 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc. Published in the U.S.A.