The Journal of Biological Chemistry 293, 19387-19399. doi: 10.1074/jbc.RA118.004834 December 14, 2018
Bone mass is maintained by a balance between osteoblast-mediated bone formation and osteoclast-mediated bone resorption. Although recent genetic studies have uncovered various mechanisms that regulate osteoblast differentiation, the molecular basis of osteoblast proliferation remains unclear. Here, using an osteoblast-specific loss-of-function mouse model, we demonstrate that cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (Cdk1) regulates osteoblast proliferation and differentiation. Quantitative RT-PCR analyses revealed that Cdk1 is highly expressed in bone and is down-regulated upon osteoblast differentiation. We also noted that Cdk1 is dispensable for the bone-anabolic effects of parathyroid hormone (PTH). Cdk1 deletion in osteoblasts led to osteoporosis in adult mice due to low bone formation, but did not affect osteoclast formation in vivo. Cdk1 overexpression in osteoblasts promoted proliferation, and conversely, Cdk1 knockdown inhibited osteoblast proliferation and promoted differentiation. Of note, we provide direct evidence that PTH's bone-anabolic effects occur without enhancing osteoblast proliferation in vivo. Furthermore, we found that Cdk1 expression in osteoblasts is essential for bone fracture repair. These findings may help reduce the risk of nonunion after bone fracture and identify patients at higher risk for nonresponse to PTH treatment. Collectively, our results indicate that Cdk1 is essential for osteoblast proliferation and that it functions as a molecular switch that shifts osteoblast proliferation to maturation. We therefore conclude that Cdk1 plays an important role in bone formation.
This work was supported by Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Grant 15H05681, Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED), and the Nakatomi Foundation. The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest with the contents of this article. The funding is core from BMRC for myself but the study was done in Japan and therefore most of the funding came from there.