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    Osteoblasts are the main functional cells in bone formation, which are responsible for the synthesis, secretion and mineralization of bone matrix. The PI3K/AKT signaling pathway is strongly associated with the differentiation and survival of osteoblasts. The 3‑phosphoinositide‑dependent protein kinase‑1 (PDK‑1) protein is considered the master upstream lipid kinase of the PI3K/AKT cascade. The present study aimed to investigate the role of PDK‑1 in the process of mouse osteoblast differentiation in vitro. In the BX‑912 group, BX‑912, a specific inhibitor of PDK‑1, was added to osteoblast induction medium (OBM) to treat bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs), whereas the control group was treated with OBM alone. Homozygote PDK1flox/flox mice were designed and generated, and were used to obtain BMSCsPDK1flox/flox. Subsequently, an adenovirus containing Cre recombinase enzyme (pHBAd‑cre‑EGFP) was used to disrupt the PDK‑1 gene in BMSCsPDK1flox/flox; this served as the pHBAd‑cre‑EGFP group and the efficiency of the disruption was verified. Western blot analysis demonstrated that the protein expression levels of phosphorylated (p)‑PDK1 and p‑AKT were gradually increased during the osteoblast differentiation process. Notably, BX‑912 treatment and disruption of the PDK‑1 gene with pHBAd‑cre‑EGFP effectively reduced the number of alkaline phosphatase (ALP)‑positive cells and the optical density value of ALP activity, as well as the formation of cell mineralization. The mRNA expression levels of PDK‑1 in the pHBAd‑cre‑EGFP group were significantly downregulated compared with those in the empty vector virus group on days 3‑7. The mRNA expression levels of the osteoblast‑related genes RUNX2, osteocalcin and collagen I were significantly decreased in the BX‑912 and pHBAd‑cre‑EGFP groups on days 7 and 21 compared with those in the control and empty vector virus groups. Overall, the results indicated that BX‑912 and disruption of the PDK‑1 gene in vitro significantly inhibited the differentiation and maturation of osteoblasts. These experimental results provided an experimental and theoretical basis for the role of PDK‑1 in osteoblasts.


    Yiguang Bai, Qiong Zhang, Quan Zhou, Yanan Zhang, Haibin Nong, Mingfu Liu, Zhuohua Shi, Gaofeng Zeng, Shaohui Zong. Effects of inhibiting PDK‑1 expression in bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells on osteoblast differentiation in vitro. Molecular medicine reports. 2021 Feb;23(2)

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    PMID: 33300048

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