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The genetic overlap between osteoporosis and craniosynostosis

Frontiers in Endocrinology

26 Sept 2022

Kague E, Medina-Gomez C, Boyadjiev SA, Rivadeneira F.

Osteoporosis is the most prevalent bone condition in the ageing population. This systemic disease is characterized by microarchitectural deterioration of bone, leading to increased fracture risk. In the past 15 years, genome-wide association studies (GWAS), have pinpointed hundreds of loci associated with bone mineral density (BMD), helping elucidate the underlying molecular mechanisms and genetic architecture of fracture risk. However, the challenge remains in pinpointing causative genes driving GWAS signals as a pivotal step to drawing the translational therapeutic roadmap. Recently, a skull BMD-GWAS uncovered an intriguing intersection with craniosynostosis, a congenital anomaly due to premature suture fusion in the skull. Here, we recapitulate the genetic contribution to both osteoporosis and craniosynostosis, describing the biological underpinnings of this overlap and using zebrafish models to leverage the functional investigation of genes associated with skull development and systemic skeletal homeostasis.

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