Scientific reports

Senescence: novel insight into DLX3 mutations leading to enhanced bone formation in Tricho-Dento-Osseous syndrome.

PMID 27924851


The homeodomain transcription factor distal-less homeobox 3 gene (DLX3) is required for hair, tooth and skeletal development. DLX3 mutations have been found to be responsible for Tricho-Dento-Osseous (TDO) syndrome, characterized by kinky hair, thin-pitted enamel and increased bone density. Here we show that the DLX3 mutation (c.533 A>G; Q178R) attenuates osteogenic potential and senescence of bone mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) isolated from a TDO patient, providing a molecular explanation for abnormal increased bone density. Both DLX3 mutations (c.533 A>G and c.571_574delGGGG) delayed cellular senescence when they were introduced into pre-osteoblastic cells MC3T3-E1. Furthermore, the attenuated skeletal aging and bone loss in DLX3 (Q178R) transgenic mice not only reconfirmed that DLX3 mutation (Q178R) delayed cellular senescence, but also prevented aging-mediated bone loss. Taken together, these results indicate that DLX3 mutations act as a loss of function in senescence. The delayed senescence of BMSCs leads to increased bone formation by compensating decreased osteogenic potentials with more generations and extended functional lifespan. Our findings in the rare human genetic disease unravel a novel mechanism of DLX3 involving the senescence regulation of bone formation.