Tags: fracture | healing | gene | lawrence livermore lab

Fracture Healing Gene: Lawrence Livermore Lab Finds Key to Repairing Broken Bones

Image: Fracture Healing Gene: Lawrence Livermore Lab Finds Key to Repairing Broken Bones
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By    |   Thursday, 02 Jun 2016 12:08 PM

The identification of a gene associated with fracture healing is a big break for a team of scientists researching difficult-to-heal injuries at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.

The team identified the “Sostdc1” gene as a key player in the repair of fractures, a discovery that could lead to new treatments, said a lab news release on Wednesday.

The healing process involves communication between bone, muscle, vasculature and the thin membrane covering the outer surface of bones (periosteum), according to the release. Stem cells in the periosteum migrate to a fracture and differentiate into cartilage-forming cells and bone-forming cells.

The Livermore scientists determined that the Sostdc1 gene regulates those stem cells, opening the door for new discoveries, 

“This work describes Sostdc1 activity in a new context, highlighting its potential role in the metabolism and repair of the skeleton,” said biologist Gaby Loots. “For the first time, we have linked Sostdc1 to the behavior of stem cells, which is consistent with, and mechanistically may explain, Sostdc1-related characteristics as noted by other studies, such as in cancer prognosis, tooth development, kidney injury resistance and diet-induced obesity resistance.”

Loots is senior author of the article, which appears in the April 19 edition of the journal Bone.

“Future studies may allow us to harness the behavior of these stem cells in other parts of the body where they may do even more good,” added biologist Nicole Collette. “This regulator is expressed all over the body, including in other tissues where stem cells are found.”

The team included scientists from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, University of California, Merced and Davis, Indiana University and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.

The lab, sponsored by the National Nuclear Security Administration, employs about 6,300 people in 497 facilities on 820 acres in Livermore, California. Established in 1952, its primary mission is the safety and security of nuclear weapons.

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The identification of a gene associated with fracture healing is a big break for a team of scientists researching difficult-to-heal injuries at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.
fracture, healing, gene, lawrence livermore lab
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2016-08-02
Thursday, 02 Jun 2016 12:08 PM
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