Ahmad M, Stirmlinger N, Jan I, Stifel U, Lee S, Weingandt M, Kelp U, Bockmann J, Ignatius A, Böckers TM, Tuckermann J.
JBMR Plus. 2022 Dec 15;7(2):e10711. doi: 10.1002/jbm4.10711. eCollection 2023 Feb.
Mutations of the postsynaptic scaffold protein Shank2 lead to autism spectrum disorders (ASD). These patients frequently suffer from higher fracture risk. Here, we investigated whether Shank2 directly regulates bone mass. We show that Shank2 is expressed in bone and that Shank2 levels are increased during osteoblastogenesis. Knockdown of Shank2 by siRNA targeting the encoding regions for PDZ and SAM domain inhibits osteoblastogenesis of primary murine calvarial osteoblasts. Shank2 knockout mice (Shank2 -/-) have a decreased bone mass due to reduced osteoblastogenesis and bone formation, whereas bone resorption remains unaffected. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs)-derived osteoblasts from a loss-of-function Shank2 mutation in a patient showed a significantly reduced osteoblast differentiation potential. Moreover, silencing of known Shank2 interacting proteins revealed that a majority of them promote osteoblast differentiation. From this we conclude that Shank2 and interacting proteins known from the central nervous system are decisive regulators in osteoblast differentiation. © 2022 The Authors. JBMR Plus published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.