Feb 12, 2004

Constitutive activation of MEK1 in chondrocytes causes Stat1-independent achondroplasia-like dwarfism and rescues the Fgfr3-deficient mouse phenotype

Genes & Development
Shunichi MurakamiBenoit de Crombrugghe


We generated transgenic mice that express a constitutively active mutant of MEK1 in chondrocytes. These mice showed a dwarf phenotype similar to achondroplasia, the most common human dwarfism, caused by activating mutations in FGFR3. These mice displayed incomplete hypertrophy of chondrocytes in the growth plates and a general delay in endochondral ossification, whereas chondrocyte proliferation was unaffected. Immunohistochemical analysis of the cranial base in transgenic embryos showed reduced staining for collagen type X and persistent expression of Sox9 in chondrocytes. These observations indicate that the MAPK pathway inhibits hypertrophic differentiation of chondrocytes and negatively regulates bone growth without inhibiting chondrocyte proliferation. Expression of a constitutively active mutant of MEK1 in chondrocytes of Fgfr3-deficient mice inhibited skeletal overgrowth, strongly suggesting that regulation of bone growth by FGFR3 is mediated at least in part by the MAPK pathway. Although loss of Stat1 restored the reduced chondrocyte proliferation in mice expressing an achondroplasia mutant of Fgfr3, it did not rescue the reduced hypertrophic zone, the delay in formation of secondary ossification centers, and the achond...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

MAP2K1 protein, human
Collagen Type X
Biochemical Pathway
SOX9 gene
Endochondral Ossification
Chondrocyte Proliferation
Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
Chondrocyte Differentiation
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

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