Upon transplantation, skeletal stem cells (also known as bone marrow stromal or mesenchymal stem cells) can regulate bone regeneration by producing secreted factors. Here, we identify KIAA1199 as a bone marrow stromal cell-secreted factor in vitro and in vivo. KIAA1199 plasma levels of patients positively correlate with osteoporotic fracture risk and expression levels of KIAA1199 in patient bone marrow stromal cells negatively correlates with their osteogenic differentiation potential. KIAA1199-deficient bone marrow stromal cells exhibit enhanced osteoblast differentiation in vitro and ectopic bone formation in vivo. Consistently, KIAA1199 knockout mice display increased bone mass and biomechanical strength, as well as an increased bone formation rate. They also exhibit accelerated healing of surgically generated bone defects and are protected from ovariectomy-induced bone loss. Mechanistically, KIAA1199 regulates osteogenesis by inhibiting the production of osteopontin by osteoblasts, via integrin-mediated AKT and ERK-MAPK intracellular signaling. Thus, KIAA1199 is a regulator of osteoblast differentiation and bone regeneration and could be targeted for the treatment or management of low bone mass conditions.
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