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Approved Research

The role of Osteolecin/Itga11 signaling in human bone development

Principal Investigator: Dr Sean Morrison
Approved Research ID: 91723
Approval date: August 25th 2022

Lay summary

Osteolectin is a bone-forming growth factor discovered by our laboratory. Itga11 is the receptor of Osteolectin, and they work together to create a signal to promote bone formation, which is required for the maintenance of normal skeletal bone. Osteolectin and Itga11 are found in both mice and human, and both mouse and human versions have similar functions to promote bone formation, at least in cell culture. While previous studies on Osteolectin and Itga11 have been mainly done in mice, it would be interesting to better understand their role in human bone development. To do so, our aim is to check whether Osteolectin or Itga11 (their genetic variants) are associated with human bone development. We will analyze dataset from the UK Biobank to discover any associations between these two genes and bone related phenotypes/traits (e.g. height and bone density) or any associations with bone related diseases (e.g. osteoporosis). In these associations, differences in Osteolectin or Itga11 genes among human individuals, referred as genetic variants, are linked with differences in bone development, suggesting the possibility that a genetic variant may cause a difference in bone development. The association analysis may take several months to a year after receiving the access to UK Biobank, depending on the number of genetic variants identified and their association with bone-related phenotypes. Discovery of associations between Osteolectin or Itga11 genetic variants and bone related phenotypes in human could help us understand the role of Osteolectin/Itga11 signaling in human bone development, and may lead to the discovery of novel therapeutic target or strategy for enhancing bone regeneration or treating bone related diseases.