Interaction between growth factor and mechano-stress signals for bone maintenance
Several factors, particularly mechanical loading, ECM composition and stiffness, and growth factor signaling pathways affect bone homeostasis. There is overwhelming evidence to validate the importance of these signaling pathways, however, whether these signals work synergistically or independently to contribute to proper bone maintenance is poorly understood. Bone Morphogenetic Proteins (BMPs) are initially identified by their osteoinductive ability. We recently developed mutant mice for BMP signaling pathways to find these mice show increased bone mass, alterations in bone composition and greater biomechanical properties. Interestingly, these changes are further increased by weight-bearing exercise suggesting an interaction between mechano-sensing pathway and BMP signaling pathway. In this MCubed project, we will investigate interactions of these two signaling pathways at the tissue, cellular, and intracellular levels.