Investigating global gene expression changes in a murine model of cherubism

Bone. 2020 Jun;135:115315. doi: 10.1016/j.bone.2020.115315. Epub 2020 Mar 10.


Cherubism is a rare genetic disorder caused primarily by mutations in SH3BP2 resulting in excessive bone resorption and fibrous tissue overgrowth in the lower portions of the face. Bone marrow derived cell cultures derived from a murine model of cherubism display poor osteogenesis and spontaneous osteoclast formation. To develop a deeper understanding for the potential underlying mechanisms contributing to these phenotypes in mice, we compared global gene expression changes in hematopoietic and mesenchymal cell populations between cherubism and wild type mice. In the hematopoietic population, not surprisingly, upregulated genes were significantly enriched for functions related to osteoclastogenesis. However, these upregulated genes were also significantly enriched for functions associated with inflammation including arachidonic acid/prostaglandin signaling, regulators of coagulation and autoinflammation, extracellular matrix remodeling, and chemokine expression. In the mesenchymal population, we observed down regulation of osteoblast and adventitial reticular cell marker genes. Regulators of BMP and Wnt pathway associated genes showed numerous changes in gene expression, likely implicating the down regulation of BMP signaling and possibly the activation of certain Wnt pathways. Analyses of the cherubism derived mesenchymal population also revealed interesting changes in gene expression related to inflammation including the expression of distinct granzymes, chemokines, and sulfotransferases. These studies reveal complex changes in gene expression elicited from a cherubic mutation in Sh3bp2 that are informative to the mechanisms responding to inflammatory stimuli and repressing osteogenesis. The outcomes of this work are likely to have relevance not only to cherubism, but other inflammatory conditions impacting the skeleton.

Keywords: Bone; Cherubism; Inflammation; Osteoblast; Osteoclast; Stromal cell.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Cherubism* / genetics
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Gene Expression
  • Mice
  • Osteoclasts / metabolism


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Sh3bp2 protein, mouse