New regulatory factor identified in bone formation

Researchers report the identification of a novel transcription factor that helps regulate the differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) into bone in mice. Bone cell differentiation is still poorly understood, and MSCs offer a promising source of stem cells for regenerative medicine applications. The new transcription factor, called Osteoblast Inducer (ObI)-1, is described in an article published in Stem Cells and Development.

The article entitled “Identification of a Novel Transcription Factor Required for Osteogenic Differentiation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells” was coauthored by Francesca Querques and Anna DAgostino, CEINGE-Biotecnologie Avanzate (Naples, Italy), Università degli Studi di Napoli “Federico II” (Naples), and SEMM-European School for Molecular Medicine (Naples) and a team of researchers from these institutions and CRG-Centre for Genomic Regulation (Barcelona, Spain). The researchers identified ObI-1 in a screen of mouse MSCs and went on to show that it acts, at least in part, by stimulating the BMP signaling pathway, which controls the expression of Runx2.

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