A novel negative regulatory mechanism of Smurf2 in BMP/Smad signaling in bone

Junichi Kushioka, Takashi Kaito, Rintaro Okada, Hiroyuki Ishiguro, Zeynep Bal, Joe Kodama, Ryota Chijimatsu, Melanie Pye, Masahiro Narimatsu, Jeffrey L. Wrana, Yasumichi Inoue, Hiroko Ninomiya, Shin Yamamoto, Takashi Saitou, Hideki Yoshikawa, Takeshi Imamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) and bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) play important roles in bone metabolism. Smad ubiquitination regulatory factors (Smurfs) regulate TGF-β/BMP signaling via ubiquitination, resulting in degradation of signaling molecules to prevent excessive activation of TGF-β/BMP signaling. Though Smurf2 has been shown to negatively regulate TGF-β/Smad signaling, its involvement in BMP/Smad signaling in bone metabolism has not been thoroughly investigated. In the present study, we sought to evaluate the role of Smurf2 in BMP/Smad signaling in bone metabolism. Absorbable collagen sponges containing 3 μg of recombinant human BMP2 (rhBMP2) were implanted in the dorsal muscle pouches of wild type (WT) and Smurf2−/− mice. The rhBMP2-induced ectopic bone in Smurf2/− mice showed greater bone mass, higher mineral apposition and bone formation rates, and greater osteoblast numbers than the ectopic bone in WT mice. In WT mice, the ectopic bone consisted of a thin discontinuous outer cortical shell and scant inner trabecular bone. In contrast, in Smurf2−/− mice, the induced bone consisted of a thick, continuous outer cortical shell and abundant inner trabecular bone. Additionally, rhBMP2-stimulated bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) from Smurf2−/− mice showed increased osteogenic differentiation. Smurf2 induced the ubiquitination of Smad1/5. BMP/Smad signaling was enhanced in Smurf2−/− BMSCs stimulated with rhBMP2, and the inhibition of BMP/Smad signaling suppressed osteogenic differentiation of these BMSCs. These findings demonstrate that Smurf2 negatively regulates BMP/Smad signaling, thereby identifying a new regulatory mechanism in bone metabolism.

Original languageEnglish
Article number41
JournalBone Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Histology
  • Physiology


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