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Abstract
Fat mass and obesity-associated (FTO) gene helps to regulate energy homeostasis in mammals by controlling energy expenditure. In addition, FTO functions in the regulation of obesity and adipogenic differentiation; however, a role in osteogenic differentiation is unknown. This study investigated the effects of FTO on osteogenic differentiation of C3H10T1/2 cells and the underlying mechanism. Expression of osteogenic and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress markers were characterized by reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction and western blotting. Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) staining was performed to assess ALP activity. BMP2 treatment increased mRNA expression of osteogenic genes and FTO. Overexpression of FTO increased expression of the osteogenic genes distal-less homeobox5 (Dlx5) and runt-related transcription factor 2 (Runx2). Activation of adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) increased FTO expression, and there was a positive feedback loop between FTO and p-AMPK. p-AMPK and FTO induced mild ER stress; however, tunicamycin-induced severe ER stress suppressed FTO expression and AMPK activation. In summary, FTO induces osteogenic differentiation of C3H10T1/2 cells upon BMP2 treatment by inducing mild ER stress via a positive feedback loop with p-AMPK. FTO expression and AMPK activation induce mild ER stress. By contrast, severe ER stress inhibits osteogenic differentiation by suppressing FTO expression and AMPK activation.
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