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Syndecan-3 enhances anabolic bone formation through WNT signaling

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Francesca Johnson de Sousa Brito, Andrew Butcher



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Osteoporosis is the most common age-related metabolic bone disorder, which is characterized by low bone mass and deterioration in bone architecture, with a propensity to fragility fractures. The best treatment for osteoporosis relies on stimulation of osteoblasts to form new bone and restore bone structure, however, anabolic therapeutics are few and their use is time restricted. Here, we report that Syndecan-3 increases new bone formation through enhancement of WNT signaling in osteoblasts. Young adult Sdc3−/− mice have low bone volume, reduced bone formation, increased bone marrow adipose tissue, increased bone fragility, and a blunted anabolic bone formation response to mechanical loading. This premature osteoporosis-like phenotype of Sdc3−/− mice is due to delayed osteoblast maturation and impaired osteoblast function, with contributing increased osteoclast-mediated bone resorption. Indeed, overexpressing Sdc3 in osteoblasts using the Col1a1 promoter rescues the low bone volume phenotype of the Sdc3−/− mice, and also increases bone volume in WT mice. Mechanistically, SDC3 enhances canonical WNT signaling in osteoblasts through stabilization of Frizzled 1, making SDC3 an attractive target for novel bone anabolic drug development.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Johnson de Sousa Brito FM, Butcher A, Pisconti A, Poulet B, Prior A, Charlesworth G, Sperinck C, di Mase MS, Liu K, Bou-Gharios G, van 't Hof RJ, Daroszewska A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: The FASEB Journal

Year: 2021

Volume: 35

Issue: 4

Print publication date: 01/04/2021

Online publication date: 26/03/2021

Acceptance date: 23/11/2020

Date deposited: 17/07/2021

ISSN (print): 0892-6638

ISSN (electronic): 1530-6860

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


DOI: 10.1096/fj.202002024R


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