Mutations in distant regulatory elements can have a negative impact on human development and health, yet because of the difficulty of detecting these critical sequences, we predominantly focus on coding sequences for diagnostic purposes. We have undertaken a comparative sequence-based approach to characterize a large noncoding region deleted in patients affected by Van Buchem (VB) disease, a severe sclerosing bone dysplasia. Using BAC recombination and transgenesis, we characterized the expression of human sclerostin (SOST) from normal (SOST(wt)) or Van Buchem (SOST(vbDelta) alleles. Only the SOST(wt) allele faithfully expressed high levels of human SOST in the adult bone and had an impact on bone metabolism, consistent with the model that the VB noncoding deletion removes a SOST-specific regulatory element. By exploiting cross-species sequence comparisons with in vitro and in vivo enhancer assays, we were able to identify a candidate enhancer element that drives human SOST expression in osteoblast-like cell lines in vitro and in the skeletal anlage of the embryonic day 14.5 (E14.5) mouse embryo, and discovered a novel function for sclerostin during limb development. Our approach represents a framework for characterizing distant regulatory elements associated with abnormal human phenotypes.
We have not found any resources mentioned in this publication.
SciCrunch is a data sharing and display platform. Anyone can create a custom portal where they can select searchable subsets of hundreds of data sources, brand their web pages and create their community. SciCrunch will push data updates automatically to all portals on a weekly basis. User communities can also add their own data to SciCrunch, however this is not currently a free service.