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    Hypophosphatemia causes rickets by impairing hypertrophic chondrocyte apoptosis. Phosphate induction of MEK1/2-ERK1/2 phosphorylation in hypertrophic chondrocytes is required for phosphate-mediated apoptosis and growth plate maturation. MEK1/2 can be activated by numerous molecules including Raf isoforms. A- and B-Raf ablation in chondrocytes does not alter skeletal development, whereas ablation of C-Raf decreases hypertrophic chondrocyte apoptosis and impairs vascularization of the growth plate. However, ablation of C-Raf does not impair phosphate-induced ERK1/2 phosphorylation in vitro, but leads to rickets by decreasing VEGF protein stability. To determine whether Raf isoforms are required for phosphate-induced hypertrophic chondrocyte apoptosis, mice lacking all three Raf isoforms in chondrocytes were generated. Raf deletion caused neonatal death and a significant expansion of the hypertrophic chondrocyte layer of the growth plate, accompanied by decreased cleaved caspase-9. This was associated with decreased phospho-ERK1/2 immunoreactivity in the hypertrophic chondrocyte layer and impaired vascular invasion. These data further demonstrated that Raf kinases are required for phosphate-induced ERK1/2 phosphorylation in cultured hypertrophic chondrocytes and perform essential, but partially redundant roles in growth plate maturation. © 2017 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.


    Garyfallia Papaioannou, Elizabeth T Petit, Eva S Liu, Manuela Baccarini, Catrin Pritchard, Marie B Demay. Raf Kinases Are Essential for Phosphate Induction of ERK1/2 Phosphorylation in Hypertrophic Chondrocytes and Normal Endochondral Bone Development. The Journal of biological chemistry. 2017 Feb 24;292(8):3164-3171

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    PMID: 28073913

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