Neuronal membrane glycoprotein gene (GPM6B) encodes a membrane glycoprotein that belongs to the proteolipid protein family. We identified GPM6B as a gene that is strongly upregulated during osteoblast differentiation. To investigate the role of GPM6B in the process of bone formation, we silenced GPM6B expression during osteogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs). GPM6B silencing in hMSCs resulted in reduced alkaline phosphate (ALP) activity along with reduced mineralization of extracellular matrix (ECM). Microarray expression analysis of GPM6B-depleted osteogenic hMSCs revealed significant changes in genes involved in cytoskeleton organization and biogenesis. Immunocytochemistry results confirm changes in the distribution of actin filaments, as well as the shape and size of focal adhesions on GPM6B silencing. Moreover, we demonstrated that production and release of ALP-positive matrix vesicles (MVs) were reduced. In conclusion, we identified GPM6B as a novel regulator of osteoblast function and bone formation. This finding demonstrates the significance of cytoskeleton organization for MV production and subsequent mineralization.

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Journal of Bone and Mineral Research
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Drabek, K., van de Peppel, J., Eijken, M., & van Leeuwen, H. (2011). GPM6B regulates osteoblast function and induction of mineralization by controlling cytoskeleton and matrix vesicle release. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, 26(9), 2045–2051. doi:10.1002/jbmr.435