CXXC5 is a negative-feedback regulator of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway involved in osteoblast differentiation

Cell Death Differ. 2015 Jun;22(6):912-20. doi: 10.1038/cdd.2014.238. Epub 2015 Jan 30.


The positive roles of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway in osteoblast differentiation and bone mineral density (BMD) maintenance have been clearly demonstrated in both animal experiments and clinical investigations. CXXC finger protein 5 (CXXC5), a recently identified negative regulator of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway, showed altered cellular localization and function, which were dependent on the cell type in previous studies. However, the in vivo function of CXXC5 has not been clearly investigated yet. Here, we characterized CXXC5 as a negative regulator of osteoblast differentiation and bone formation. Deficiency of CXXC5 resulted in elevated BMD in mice without any severe gross developmental abnormalities. CXXC5 exerted a negative-feedback effect on the Wnt/β-catenin pathway via Wnt-dependent binding to Dishevelled (Dvl) during osteoblast differentiation. Suppression of the Dvl-CXXC5 interaction using a competitor peptide resulted in the activation of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway and osteoblast differentiation, and accelerated thickness growth of ex vivo-cultured calvariae. Overall, CXXC5 is a negative-feedback regulator induced by Wnt/β-catenin signaling that inhibits osteoblast differentiation and bone formation via interaction with Dvl.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation / genetics
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Cell Line
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Osteoblasts / cytology*
  • Osteoblasts / metabolism*
  • Receptors, CXCR5 / genetics
  • Receptors, CXCR5 / metabolism*
  • Wnt Proteins / genetics
  • Wnt Proteins / metabolism
  • Wnt Signaling Pathway / physiology*
  • beta Catenin / metabolism*


  • Receptors, CXCR5
  • Wnt Proteins
  • beta Catenin