Abrogation of Fam20c altered cell behaviors and BMP signaling of immortalized dental mesenchymal cells. Academic Article uri icon


  • FAM20C mutations compromise the mineralization of skeleton and tooth in both human and mouse. Putatively, the mineralization disorder is attributed to the elevated fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23), which reduced the serum phosphorus by suppressing the reabsorption of phosphorus in kidney. Besides the regulation on systemic phosphorus homeostasis, FAM20C was also implicated to regulate cell behaviors and gene expression through a cell-autonomous manner. To identify the primary effects of Fam20c on dental mesenchymal cells, mouse Fam20c-deficient dental mesenchymal cells were generated by removing the floxed alleles from the immortalized mouse Fam20cf/f dental mesenchymal cells with Cre-expressing lentivirus. The removal of Fam20c exerted no impact on cell morphology, but suppressed the proliferation and mobility of the dental mesenchymal cells. Fam20c deficiency also significantly reduced the expression of Osterix, Runx2, type I Collagen a 1 (Col1a1), Alkaline phosphatase (Alpl) and the members of the small integrin-binding ligand, N-linked glycoprotein (SIBLING) family, but increased Fgf23 expression. Consistently, the in vitro mineralization of Fam20c-deficient dental mesenchymal cells was severely disabled. However, supplements of the non-collagenous proteins from wild type rat dentin failed to rescue the compromised mineralization, suggesting that the roles of FAM20C in tooth mineralization are more than phosphorylating local matrices and regulating systemic phosphorus metabolism. Moreover, the down-regulated BMP signaling pathways in the Fam20c deficient dental mesenchymal cells revealed that the kinase activity of FAM20C might be required to maintain BMP signaling. In summary, our study discloses that Fam20c indeed regulates cell behaviors and cell signaling pathway in a cell-autonomous manner.

published proceedings

  • Exp Cell Res

author list (cited authors)

  • Liu, C., Zhou, N., Wang, Y. u., Zhang, H., Jani, P., Wang, X., ... Qin, C.

citation count

  • 9

complete list of authors

  • Liu, Chao||Zhou, Nan||Wang, Yu||Zhang, Hua||Jani, Priyam||Wang, Xiaofang||Lu, Yongbo||Li, Nan||Xiao, Jing||Qin, Chunlin

publication date

  • February 2018