The skeleton: a multi-functional complex organ: new insights into osteoblasts and their role in bone formation: the central role of PI3Kinase.

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Publication Date



Maine Medical Center Research Institute, Center for Clinical and Translational Research

Journal Title

The Journal of endocrinology

MeSH Headings

Animals, Bone and Bones, Cartilage, Humans, Models, Biological, Osteoblasts, Osteogenesis, Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases, Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt, Signal Transduction


Studies on bone development, formation and turnover have grown exponentially over the last decade in part because of the utility of genetic models. One area that has received considerable attention has been the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) signaling pathway, which has emerged as a major survival network for osteoblasts. Genetic engineering has enabled investigators to study downstream effectors of PI3K by directly overexpressing activated forms of AKT in cells of the skeletal lineage or deleting Pten that leads to a constitutively active AKT. The results from these studies have provided novel insights into bone development and remodeling, critical processes in the lifelong maintenance of skeletal health. This paper reviews those data in relation to recent advances in osteoblast biology and their potential relevance to chronic disorders of the skeleton and their treatment.



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