Decreased c-Src expression enhances osteoblast differentiation and bone formation

Marilena Marzia, Natalie A. Sims, Susanne Voit, Silvia Migliaccio, Anna Taranta, Silvia Bernardini, Tullio Faraggiana, Toshiyuki Yoneda, Gregory R. Mundy, Brendan F. Boyce, Roland Baron, Anna Teti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

246 Scopus citations


c-Src deletion in mice leads to osteopetrosis as a result of reduced bone resorption due to an alteration of the osteoclast. We report that deletion/reduction of Src expression enhances osteoblast differentiation and bone formation, contributing to the increase in bone mass. Bone histomorphometry showed that bone formation was increased in Src null compared with wild-type mice. In vitro, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity and nodule mineralization were increased in primary calvarial cells and in SV40-immortalized osteoblasts from Src(-/-) relative to Src(+/+) mice. Src-antisense oligodeoxynucleotides (AS-src) reduced Src levels by ~60% and caused a similar increase in ALP activity and nodule mineralization in primary osteoblasts in vitro. Reduction in cell proliferation was observed in primary and immortalized Src(-/-) osteoblasts and in normal osteoblasts incubated with the AS-src. Semiquantitative reverse transcriptase-PCR revealed upregulation of ALP, Osf2/Cbfa1 transcription factor, PTH/PTHrP receptor, osteocalcin, and pro-alpha 2(I) collagen in Src-deficient osteoblasts. The expression of the bone matrix protein osteopontin remained unchanged. Based on these results, we conclude that the reduction of Src expression not only inhibits bone resorption, but also stimulates osteoblast differentiation and bone formation, suggesting that the osteogenic cells may contribute to the development of the osteopetrotic phenotype in Src-deficient mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-320
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 16 2000


  • Bone formation
  • Differentiation
  • Osteoblast
  • Osteopetrosis
  • Src

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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