Imperial College London

ProfessorGrahamWilliams

Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction

Clinical Professor of Endocrinology
 
 
 
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Contact

 

+44 (0)20 3313 1383graham.williams

 
 
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Location

 

10N5Commonwealth BuildingHammersmith Campus

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Summary

 

Publications

Publication Type
Year
to

202 results found

Youlten SE, Kemp JP, Logan JG, Ghirardello EJ, Sergio CM, Dack MRG, Guilfoyle SE, Leitch VD, Butterfield NC, Komla-Ebri D, Chai RC, Corr AP, Smith JT, Mohanty ST, Morris JA, McDonald MM, Quinn JMW, McGlade AR, Bartonicek N, Jansson M, Hatzikotoulas K, Irving MD, Beleza-Meireles A, Rivadeneira F, Duncan E, Richards JB, Adams DJ, Lelliott CJ, Brink R, Phan TG, Eisman JA, Evans DM, Zeggini E, Baldock PA, Bassett JHD, Williams GR, Croucher PIet al., 2021, Osteocyte transcriptome mapping identifies a molecular landscape controlling skeletal homeostasis and susceptibility to skeletal disease, Nature Communications, Vol: 12, Pages: 1-21, ISSN: 2041-1723

Osteocytes are master regulators of the skeleton. We mapped the transcriptome of osteocytes from different skeletal sites, across age and sexes in mice to reveal genes and molecular programs that control this complex cellular-network. We define an osteocyte transcriptome signature of 1239 genes that distinguishes osteocytes from other cells. 77% have no previously known role in the skeleton and are enriched for genes regulating neuronal network formation, suggesting this programme is important in osteocyte communication. We evaluated 19 skeletal parameters in 733 knockout mouse lines and reveal 26 osteocyte transcriptome signature genes that control bone structure and function. We showed osteocyte transcriptome signature genes are enriched for human orthologs that cause monogenic skeletal disorders (P = 2.4 × 10−22) and are associated with the polygenic diseases osteoporosis (P = 1.8 × 10−13) and osteoarthritis (P = 1.6 × 10−7). Thus, we reveal the molecular landscape that regulates osteocyte network formation and function and establish the importance of osteocytes in human skeletal disease.

Journal article

Butterfield NC, Curry KF, Steinberg J, Dewhurst H, Komla-Ebri D, Mannan NS, Adoum A-T, Leitch VD, Logan JG, Waung JA, Ghirardello E, Southam L, Youlten SE, Wilkinson JM, McAninch EA, Vancollie VE, Kussy F, White JK, Lelliott CJ, Adams DJ, Jacques R, Bianco AC, Boyde A, Zeggini E, Croucher PI, Williams GR, Bassett JHDet al., 2021, Accelerating functional gene discovery in osteoarthritis (vol 12, 467, 2021), NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, Vol: 12, ISSN: 2041-1723

Journal article

Walsh JS, Jacques R, Schomburg L, Hill T, Mathers J, Williams G, Eastell Ret al., 2021, Selenium supplementation to improve bone health in postmenopausal women: the SeMS three-arm RCT, Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation, Vol: 8, Pages: 1-37, ISSN: 2050-4365

BackgroundObservational and pre-clinical studies have reported an association between selenium status, bone density, bone turnover and fracture risk. Selenium is an anti-oxidant, so we hypothesised that selenium could reduce the pro-resorptive action of reactive oxygen species on osteoclasts. Population mortality data suggest that the optimum range for serum selenium is 120–150 µg/l. Most adults in Europe are relatively selenium insufficient compared with adults in the USA and other geographical areas.ObjectivesThe objectives of the study were to determine if selenium supplementation in postmenopausal women with osteopenia decreased bone turnover, improved physical function or decreased markers of oxidative stress and inflammation.DesignWe conducted a 6-month double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial.SettingThis was a single-centre study in Sheffield, UK.ParticipantsWe recruited 120 postmenopausal women with osteopenia or osteoporosis. One hundred and fifteen women completed follow-up and were included in the intention-to-treat analysis.InterventionsThe interventions were sodium selenite as Selenase 200 µg/day, Selenase 50 µg/day (biosyn, Germany) and placebo.Main outcome measuresThe primary end point was urine N–terminal cross-linking telopeptide of type I collagen/Cr (NTX/Cr) at 26 weeks. Groups were compared with an analysis of covariance, through the use of Hochberg testing. Secondary end points were other biochemical markers of bone turnover, bone mineral density by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and physical function scores (short physical performance battery and grip strength). The mechanistic end points were markers of inflammation and anti-oxidant activity (glutathione peroxidase, highly sensitive C-reactive protein and interleukin 6).ResultsIn the 200 µg/day group, mean serum selenium increased from 78.8 µg/l (95% confidence interval 73.5 to 84.2 µg/l) to 1

Journal article

Walsh JS, Jacques RM, Schomburg L, Hill TR, Mathers JC, Williams GR, Eastell Ret al., 2021, Effect of selenium supplementation on musculoskeletal health in older women: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, The Lancet Healthy Longevity, Vol: 2, Pages: e212-e221, ISSN: 2666-7568

BackgroundObservational and preclinical studies show associations between selenium status, bone health, and physical function. Most adults in Europe have serum selenium below the optimum range. We hypothesised that selenium supplementation could reduce pro-resorptive actions of reactive oxygen species on osteoclasts and improve physical function.MethodsWe completed a 6-month randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. We recruited postmenopausal women older than 55 years with osteopenia or osteoporosis at the Northern General Hospital, Sheffield, UK. Participants were randomly assigned 1:1:1 to receive selenite 200 μg, 50 μg, or placebo orally once per day. Medication was supplied to the site blinded and numbered by a block randomisation sequence with a block size of 18, and participants were allocated medication in numerical order. All participants and study team were masked to treatment allocation. The primary endpoint was urine N-terminal cross-linking telopeptide of type I collagen (NTx, expressed as ratio to creatinine) at 26 weeks. Analysis included all randomly assigned participants who completed follow-up. Groups were compared with analysis of covariance with Hochberg testing. Secondary endpoints were other biochemical markers of bone turnover, bone mineral density, short physical performance battery, and grip strength. Mechanistic endpoints were glutathione peroxidase, highly sensitive C-reactive protein, and interleukin-6. This trial is registered with EU clinical trials, EudraCT 2016-002964-15, and ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02832648, and is complete.Findings120 participants were recruited between Jan 23, 2017, and April 11, 2018, and randomly assigned to selenite 200 μg, 50 μg, or placebo (n=40 per group). 115 (96%) of 120 participants completed follow-up and were included in the primary analysis (200 μg [n=39], 50 μg [n=39], placebo [n=37]). Median follow-up was 25·0 weeks (IQR 24·7–26·0). In the 200 μ

Journal article

McDonald MM, Khoo WH, Ng PY, Xiao Y, Zamerli J, Thatcher P, Kyaw W, Pathmanandavel K, Grootveld AK, Moran I, Butt D, Nguyen A, Corr A, Warren S, Biro M, Butterfield NC, Guilfoyle SE, Komla-Ebri D, Dack MRG, Dewhurst HF, Logan JG, Li Y, Mohanty ST, Byrne N, Terry RL, Simic MK, Chai R, Quinn JMW, Youlten SE, Pettitt JA, Abi-Hanna D, Jain R, Weninger W, Lundberg M, Sun S, Ebetino FH, Timpson P, Lee WM, Baldock PA, Rogers MJ, Brink R, Williams GR, Bassett JHD, Kemp JP, Pavlos NJ, Croucher PI, Phan TGet al., 2021, Osteoclasts recycle via osteomorphs during RANKL-stimulated bone resorption., Cell, Vol: 184, Pages: 1330-1347.e13

Osteoclasts are large multinucleated bone-resorbing cells formed by the fusion of monocyte/macrophage-derived precursors that are thought to undergo apoptosis once resorption is complete. Here, by intravital imaging, we reveal that RANKL-stimulated osteoclasts have an alternative cell fate in which they fission into daughter cells called osteomorphs. Inhibiting RANKL blocked this cellular recycling and resulted in osteomorph accumulation. Single-cell RNA sequencing showed that osteomorphs are transcriptionally distinct from osteoclasts and macrophages and express a number of non-canonical osteoclast genes that are associated with structural and functional bone phenotypes when deleted in mice. Furthermore, genetic variation in human orthologs of osteomorph genes causes monogenic skeletal disorders and associates with bone mineral density, a polygenetic skeletal trait. Thus, osteoclasts recycle via osteomorphs, a cell type involved in the regulation of bone resorption that may be targeted for the treatment of skeletal diseases.

Journal article

Steinberg J, Southam L, Roumeliotis TI, Clark MJ, Jayasuriya RL, Swift D, Shah KM, Butterfield NC, Brooks RA, McCaskie AW, Bassett JHD, Williams GR, Choudhary JS, Wilkinson JM, Zeggini Eet al., 2021, A molecular quantitative trait locus map for osteoarthritis., Nat Commun, Vol: 12

Osteoarthritis causes pain and functional disability for over 500 million people worldwide. To develop disease-stratifying tools and modifying therapies, we need a better understanding of the molecular basis of the disease in relevant tissue and cell types. Here, we study primary cartilage and synovium from 115 patients with osteoarthritis to construct a deep molecular signature map of the disease. By integrating genetics with transcriptomics and proteomics, we discover molecular trait loci in each tissue type and omics level, identify likely effector genes for osteoarthritis-associated genetic signals and highlight high-value targets for drug development and repurposing. These findings provide insights into disease aetiopathology, and offer translational opportunities in response to the global clinical challenge of osteoarthritis.

Journal article

Tobias JH, Duncan EL, Kague E, Hammond CL, Gregson CL, Bassett D, Williams GR, Min JL, Gaunt TR, Karasik D, Ohlsson C, Rivadeneira F, Edwards JR, Hannan FM, Kemp JP, Gilbert SJ, Alonso N, Hassan N, Compston JE, Ralston SHet al., 2021, Opportunities and challenges in functional genomics research in osteoporosis: report from a workshop held by the causes working group of the osteoporosis and bone research academy of the Royal Osteoporosis Society on October 5th 2020, Frontiers in Endocrinology, Vol: 11, Pages: 1-11, ISSN: 1664-2392

The discovery that sclerostin is the defective protein underlying the rare heritable bone mass disorder, sclerosteosis, ultimately led to development of anti-sclerostin antibodies as a new treatment for osteoporosis. In the era of large scale GWAS, many additional genetic signals associated with bone mass and related traits have since been reported. However, how best to interrogate these signals in order to identify the underlying gene responsible for these genetic associations, a prerequisite for identifying drug targets for further treatments, remains a challenge. The resources available for supporting functional genomics research continues to expand, exemplified by “multi-omics” database resources, with improved availability of datasets derived from bone tissues. These databases provide information about potential molecular mediators such as mRNA expression, protein expression, and DNA methylation levels, which can be interrogated to map genetic signals to specific genes based on identification of causal pathways between the genetic signal and the phenotype being studied. Functional evaluation of potential causative genes has been facilitated by characterization of the “osteocyte signature”, by broad phenotyping of knockout mice with deletions of over 7,000 genes, in which more detailed skeletal phenotyping is currently being undertaken, and by development of zebrafish as a highly efficient additional in vivo model for functional studies of the skeleton. Looking to the future, this expanding repertoire of tools offers the hope of accurately defining the major genetic signals which contribute to osteoporosis. This may in turn lead to the identification of additional therapeutic targets, and ultimately new treatments for osteoporosis.

Journal article

Butterfield NC, Curry KF, Steinberg J, Dewhurst H, Komla-Ebri D, Mannan NS, Adoum A-T, Leitch VD, Logan JG, Waung JA, Ghirardello E, Southam L, Youlten SE, Wilkinson JM, McAninch EA, Vancollie VE, Kussy F, White JK, Lelliott CJ, Adams DJ, Jacques R, Bianco AC, Boyde A, Zeggini E, Croucher PI, Williams GR, Bassett JHDet al., 2021, Accelerating functional gene discovery in osteoarthritis., Nat Commun, Vol: 12

Osteoarthritis causes debilitating pain and disability, resulting in a considerable socioeconomic burden, yet no drugs are available that prevent disease onset or progression. Here, we develop, validate and use rapid-throughput imaging techniques to identify abnormal joint phenotypes in randomly selected mutant mice generated by the International Knockout Mouse Consortium. We identify 14 genes with functional involvement in osteoarthritis pathogenesis, including the homeobox gene Pitx1, and functionally characterize 6 candidate human osteoarthritis genes in mouse models. We demonstrate sensitivity of the methods by identifying age-related degenerative joint damage in wild-type mice. Finally, we phenotype previously generated mutant mice with an osteoarthritis-associated polymorphism in the Dio2 gene by CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing and demonstrate a protective role in disease onset with public health implications. We hope this expanding resource of mutant mice will accelerate functional gene discovery in osteoarthritis and offer drug discovery opportunities for this common, incapacitating chronic disease.

Journal article

Freudenthal B, Watts L, Bassett JHD, Williams Get al., 2021, Thyroid hormone, thyroid medication, and the skeleton, Marcus and Feldman's Osteoporosis (Fifth Edition)

Thyroid hormone is an essential systemic regulator of development and metabolism and has important effects on bone that are mediated principally by thyroid hormone receptor α. In children, hypothyroidism causes growth retardation and delayed bone age, whereas hyperthyroidism accelerates linear growth and advances skeletal maturation. In adults, hyperthyroidism causes high bone turnover osteoporosis and an increased risk of fracture. Overt thyrotoxicosis, subclinical hyperthyroidism, and overtreatment of hypothyroid patients with thyroxine can all result in reduced bone mineral density and an increased susceptibility to fracture. Thyroid hormones are thus essential for normal skeletal development and the normal maintenance of adult bone. When treating patients with thyroid disorders, it is important to consider the potential for detrimental consequences to the skeleton.

Book chapter

Swan AL, Schuett C, Rozman J, Moreno MDMM, Brandmaier S, Simon M, Leuchtenberger S, Griffiths M, Brommage R, Keskivali-Bond P, Grallert H, Werner T, Teperino R, Becker L, Miller G, Moshiri A, Seavitt JR, Cissell DD, Meehan TF, Acar EF, Lelliott CJ, Flenniken AM, Champy M-F, Sorg T, Ayadi A, Braun RE, Cater H, Dickinson ME, Flicek P, Gallegos J, Ghirardello EJ, Heaney JD, Jacquot S, Lally C, Logan JG, Teboul L, Mason J, Spielmann N, McKerlie C, Murray SA, Nutter LMJ, Odfalk KF, Parkinson H, Prochazka J, Reynolds CL, Selloum M, Spoutil F, Svenson KL, Vales TS, Wells SE, White JK, Sedlacek R, Wurst W, Lloyd KKC, Croucher P, Fuchs H, Williams GR, Bassett D, Gailus-Durner V, Herault Y, Mallon A-M, Brown SDM, Mayer-Kuckuk P, de Angelis MHet al., 2020, Mouse mutant phenotyping at scale reveals novel genes controlling bone mineral density, PLoS Genetics, Vol: 16, Pages: 1-27, ISSN: 1553-7390

The genetic landscape of diseases associated with changes in bone mineral density (BMD), such as osteoporosis, is only partially understood. Here, we explored data from 3,823 mutant mouse strains for BMD, a measure that is frequently altered in a range of bone pathologies, including osteoporosis. A total of 200 genes were found to significantly affect BMD. This pool of BMD genes comprised 141 genes with previously unknown functions in bone biology and was complementary to pools derived from recent human studies. Nineteen of the 141 genes also caused skeletal abnormalities. Examination of the BMD genes in osteoclasts and osteoblasts underscored BMD pathways, including vesicle transport, in these cells and together with in silico bone turnover studies resulted in the prioritization of candidate genes for further investigation. Overall, the results add novel pathophysiological and molecular insight into bone health and disease.

Journal article

Pereira M, Ko J-H, Logan J, Protheroe H, Kim K-B, Tan ALM, Croucher PI, Park K-S, Rotival M, Petretto E, Bassett JD, Williams GR, Behmoaras Jet al., 2020, A trans-eQTL network regulates osteoclast multinucleation and bone mass, eLife, Vol: 9, ISSN: 2050-084X

Functional characterisation of cell-type-specific regulatory networks is key to establish a causal link between genetic variation and phenotype. The osteoclast offers a unique model for interrogating the contribution of co-regulated genes to in vivo phenotype as its multinucleation and resorption activities determine quantifiable skeletal traits. Here we took advantage of a trans-regulated gene network (MMnet, macrophage multinucleation network) which we found to be significantly enriched for GWAS variants associated with bone-related phenotypes. We found that the network hub gene Bcat1 and seven other co-regulated MMnet genes out of 13, regulate bone function. Specifically, global (Pik3cb-/-, Atp8b2+/-, Igsf8-/-, Eml1-/-, Appl2-/-, Deptor-/-) and myeloid-specific Slc40a1 knockout mice displayed abnormal bone phenotypes. We report opposing effects of MMnet genes on bone mass in mice and osteoclast multinucleation/resorption in humans with strong correlation between the two. These results identify MMnet as a functionally conserved network that regulates osteoclast multinucleation and bone mass.

Journal article

Joustra SD, Roelfsema F, van Trotsenburg ASP, Schneider HJ, Kosilek RP, Kroon HM, Logan JG, Butterfield NC, Zhou X, Toufaily C, Bak B, Turgeon M-O, Brule E, Steyn FJ, Gurnell M, Koulouri O, Le Tissier P, Fontanaud P, Bassett JHD, Williams GR, Oostdijk W, Wit JM, Pereira AM, Biermasz NR, Bernard DJ, Schoenmakers Net al., 2020, Response to Letter to the Editor: "IGSF1 Deficiency Results in Human and Murine Somatotrope Neurosecretory Hyperfunction", JOURNAL OF CLINICAL ENDOCRINOLOGY & METABOLISM, Vol: 105, Pages: E2315-E2316, ISSN: 0021-972X

Journal article

Freudenthal B, Makitie R, Logan J, Sparkes P, Komla Ebri D, Pollard A, Williams G, Bassett Jet al., 2020, A mouse model of juvenile onset X-linked osteoporosis, Bone Research Society BRS Online Rare Bone Disease 2020

Conference paper

Joustra SD, Roelfsema F, van Trotsenburg ASP, Schneider HJ, Kosilek RP, Kroon HM, Logan JG, Butterfield NC, Zhou X, Toufaily C, Bak B, Turgeon M-O, Brule E, Steyn FJ, Gurnell M, Koulouri O, Le Tissier P, Fontanaud P, Bassett JHD, Williams GR, Oostdijk W, Wit JM, Pereira AM, Biermasz NR, Bernard DJ, Schoenmakers Net al., 2020, IGSF1 Deficiency Results in Human and Murine Somatotrope Neurosecretory Hyperfunction, JOURNAL OF CLINICAL ENDOCRINOLOGY & METABOLISM, Vol: 105, Pages: E70-E84, ISSN: 0021-972X

Journal article

Leitch VD, Bassett JHD, Williams GR, 2020, Role of thyroid hormones in craniofacial development, NATURE REVIEWS ENDOCRINOLOGY, Vol: 16, Pages: 147-164, ISSN: 1759-5029

Journal article

Freudenthal B, Watts L, Williams G, Bassett Jet al., 2020, The skeletal system in thyrotoxicosis, Werner & Ingbar's The Thyroid

Book chapter

Watts L, Freudenthal B, Bassett J, Williams Get al., 2020, The skeletal system in hypothyroidism, Werner & Ingbar's The Thyroid

Book chapter

Leitch VD, Brassill MJ, Rahman S, Butterfield NC, Ma P, Logan JG, Boyde A, Evans H, Croucher PI, Batterham RL, Williams GR, Bassett JHDet al., 2019, PYY is a negative regulator of bone mass and strength, Bone, Vol: 127, Pages: 427-435, ISSN: 8756-3282

ObjectiveBone loss in anorexia nervosa and following bariatric surgery is associated with an elevated circulating concentration of the gastrointestinal, anorexigenic hormone, peptide YY (PYY). Selective deletion of the PYY receptor Y1R in osteoblasts or Y2R in the hypothalamus results in high bone mass, but deletion of PYY in mice has resulted in conflicting skeletal phenotypes leading to uncertainty regarding its role in the regulation of bone mass. As PYY analogs are under development for treatment of obesity, we aimed to clarify the relationship between PYY and bone mass.MethodsThe skeletal phenotype of Pyy knockout (KO) mice was investigated during growth (postnatal day P14) and adulthood (P70 and P186) using X-ray microradiography, micro-CT, back-scattered electron scanning electron microscopy (BSE-SEM), histomorphometry and biomechanical testing.ResultsBones from juvenile and Pyy KO mice were longer (P < 0.001), with decreased bone mineral content (P < 0.001). Whereas, bones from adult Pyy KO mice had increased bone mineral content (P < 0.05) with increased mineralisation of both cortical (P < 0.001) and trabecular (P < 0.001) compartments. Long bones from adult Pyy KO mice were stronger (maximum load P < 0.001), with increased stiffness (P < 0.01) and toughness (P < 0.05) compared to wild-type (WT) control mice despite increased cortical vascularity and porosity (P < 0.001). The increased bone mass and strength in Pyy KO mice resulted from increases in trabecular (P < 0.01) and cortical bone formation (P < 0.05).ConclusionsThese findings demonstrate that PYY acts as a negative regulator of osteoblastic bone formation, implicating increased PYY levels in the pathogenesis of bone loss during anorexia or following bariatric surgery.

Journal article

Beck-Cormier S, Lelliott CJ, Logan JG, Lafont DT, Leitch VD, Butterfield NC, Protheroe HJ, Croucher PI, Baldock PA, Gaultier-Lintia A, Nicolas G, Bon N, Sourice S, Guicheux J, Beck L, Williams GR, Bassett JHDet al., 2019, Slc20a2, encoding the phosphate transporter PiT2, is a novel genetic determinant of bone quality and strength, Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, Vol: 34, Pages: 1101-1114, ISSN: 1523-4681

Osteoporosis is characterized by low bone mineral density (BMD) and fragility fracture and affects over 200 million people worldwide. Bone quality describes the material properties that contribute to strength independently of BMD, and its quantitative analysis is a major priority in osteoporosis research. Tissue mineralization is a fundamental process requiring calcium and phosphate transporters. Here we identify impaired bone quality and strength in Slc20a2–/– mice lacking the phosphate transporter SLC20A2. Juveniles had abnormal endochondral and intramembranous ossification, decreased mineral accrual, and short stature. Adults exhibited only small reductions in bone mass and mineralization but a profound impairment of bone strength. Bone quality was severely impaired in Slc20a2–/– mice: yield load (–2.3 SD), maximum load (–1.7 SD), and stiffness (–2.7 SD) were all below values predicted from their bone mineral content as determined in a cohort of 320 wild‐type controls. These studies identify Slc20a2 as a physiological regulator of tissue mineralization and highlight its critical role in the determination of bone quality and strength.

Journal article

Freudenthal B, Shetty S, Butterfield NC, Logan JG, Han CR, Zhu X-G, Astapova I, Hollenberg AN, Cheng S-Y, Bassett JHD, Williams Get al., 2019, Genetic and pharmacological targeting of transcriptional repression in resistance to thyroid hormone alpha, Thyroid, Vol: 29, ISSN: 1050-7256

Background Thyroid hormones act in bone and cartilage via thyroid hormone receptor α (TRα). In the absence of T3, TRα interacts with co-repressors, including nuclear receptor co-repressor-1 (NCoR1), which recruit histone deacetylases (HDACs) and mediate transcriptional repression. Dominant-negative mutations of TRα cause resistance to thyroid hormone α (RTHα; OMIM 614450), characterized by excessive repression of T3 target genes leading to delayed skeletal development, growth retardation and bone dysplasia. Treatment with thyroxine has been of limited benefit even in mildly affected individuals and there is a need for new therapeutic strategies. We hypothesized that (i) the skeletal manifestations of RTHα are mediated by the persistent TRα/NCoR1/HDAC repressor complex containing mutant TRα, and (ii) treatment with the HDAC inhibitor suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA) would ameliorate these manifestations. Methods We determined the skeletal phenotypes of (i) Thra1PV/+ mice, a well characterized model of RTHα, (ii) Ncor1ΔID/ΔID mice, which express an NCoR1 mutant that fails to interact with TRα, and (iii) Thra1PV/+Ncor1ΔID/ΔID double mutant adult mice. Wild-type, Thra1PV/+, Ncor1ΔID/ΔID, and Thra1PV/+Ncor1ΔID/ΔID double mutant mice were also treated with SAHA to determine whether HDAC inhibition results in amelioration of skeletal abnormalities. Results Thra1PV/+ mice had a severe skeletal dysplasia characterized by short stature, abnormal bone morphology and increased bone mineral content. Despite normal bone length, Ncor1ΔID/ΔID mice displayed increased cortical bone mass, mineralization and strength. Thra1PV/+Ncor1ΔID/ΔID double mutant mice displayed only a small improvement of skeletal abnormalities compared to Thra1PV/+ mice. Treatment with SAHA to inhibit histone deacetylation had no beneficial or detrimental effects on bo

Journal article

Rauner M, Baschant U, Roetto A, Pellegrino RM, Rother S, Salbach-Hirsch J, Weidner H, Hintze V, Campbell G, Petzold A, Lemaitre R, Henry I, Bellido T, Theurl I, Altamura S, Colucci S, Muckenthaler MU, Schett G, Komla-Ebri DSK, Bassett JHD, Williams GR, Platzbecker U, Hofbauer LCet al., 2019, Transferrin receptor 2 controls bone mass and pathological bone formation via BMP and Wnt signaling (vol 1, pg 111, 2019), NATURE METABOLISM, Vol: 1, Pages: 584-584

Journal article

Morris JA, Kemp JP, Youlten SE, Laurent L, Logan JG, Chai RC, Vulpescu NA, Forgetta V, Kleinman A, Mohanty ST, Sergio CM, Quinn J, Nguyen-Yamamoto L, Luco A-L, Vijay J, Simon M-M, Pramatarova A, Medina-Gomez C, Trajanoska K, Ghirardello EJ, Butterfield NC, Curry KF, Leitch VD, Sparkes PC, Adoum A-T, Mannan NS, Komla-Ebri DSK, Pollard AS, Dewhurst HF, Hassall TAD, Beltejar M-JG, 23andMe Research Team, Adams DJ, Vaillancourt SM, Kaptoge S, Baldock P, Cooper C, Reeve J, Ntzani EE, Evangelou E, Ohlsson C, Karasik D, Rivadeneira F, Kiel DP, Tobias JH, Gregson CL, Harvey NC, Grundberg E, Goltzman D, Adams DJ, Lelliott CJ, Hinds DA, Ackert-Bicknell CL, Hsu Y-H, Maurano MT, Croucher PI, Williams GR, Bassett JHD, Evans DM, Richards JBet al., 2019, Author Correction: An atlas of genetic influences on osteoporosis in humans and mice., Nat Genet, Vol: 51

In the version of this article initially published, in Fig. 5a, the data in the right column of 'DAAM2 gRNA1' were incorrectly plotted as circles indicating 'untreated' rather than as squares indicating 'treated'. The error has been corrected in the HTML and PDF versions of the article.

Journal article

Butterfield NC, Logan JG, Waung J, Williams GR, Bassett JHDet al., 2019, Quantitative X-Ray Imaging of Mouse Bone by Faxitron., Methods Mol Biol, Vol: 1914, Pages: 559-569

This chapter describes the use of point projection digital microradiography for rapid imaging and quantitation of bone mineral content in mice.

Journal article

Morris JA, Kemp JP, Youlten SE, Laurent L, Logan JG, Chai RC, Vulpescu NA, Forgetta V, Kleinman A, Mohanty ST, Sergio CM, Quinn J, Nguyen-Yamamoto L, Luco A-L, Vijay J, Simon M-M, Pramatarova A, Medina-Gomez C, Trajanoska K, Ghirardello EJ, Butterfield NC, Curry KF, Leitch VD, Sparkes PC, Adoum A-T, Mannan NS, Komla-Ebri DSK, Pollard AS, Dewhurst HF, Hassall TAD, Beltejar M-JG, 23andMe Research Team, Adams DJ, Vaillancourt SM, Kaptoge S, Baldock P, Cooper C, Reeve J, Ntzani EE, Evangelou E, Ohlsson C, Karasik D, Rivadeneira F, Kiel DP, Tobias JH, Gregson CL, Harvey NC, Grundberg E, Goltzman D, Adams DJ, Lelliott CJ, Hinds DA, Ackert-Bicknell CL, Hsu Y-H, Maurano MT, Croucher PI, Williams GR, Bassett JHD, Evans DM, Richards JBet al., 2019, An atlas of genetic influences on osteoporosis in humans and mice., Nat Genet, Vol: 51, Pages: 258-266

Osteoporosis is a common aging-related disease diagnosed primarily using bone mineral density (BMD). We assessed genetic determinants of BMD as estimated by heel quantitative ultrasound in 426,824 individuals, identifying 518 genome-wide significant loci (301 novel), explaining 20% of its variance. We identified 13 bone fracture loci, all associated with estimated BMD (eBMD), in ~1.2 million individuals. We then identified target genes enriched for genes known to influence bone density and strength (maximum odds ratio (OR) = 58, P = 1 × 10-75) from cell-specific features, including chromatin conformation and accessible chromatin sites. We next performed rapid-throughput skeletal phenotyping of 126 knockout mice with disruptions in predicted target genes and found an increased abnormal skeletal phenotype frequency compared to 526 unselected lines (P < 0.0001). In-depth analysis of one gene, DAAM2, showed a disproportionate decrease in bone strength relative to mineralization. This genetic atlas provides evidence linking associated SNPs to causal genes, offers new insight into osteoporosis pathophysiology, and highlights opportunities for drug development.

Journal article

Jo S, Fonseca TL, Da Costa Bocco BM, Fernandes GW, McAninch EA, Bolin AP, Da Conceição RR, De Castro JPW, Ignacio DL, Egri P, Németh D, Fekete C, Bernardi MM, Leitch VD, Mannan NS, Curry KF, Butterfield NC, Bassett JHD, Williams GR, Gereben B, Ribeiro MO, Bianco ACet al., 2019, Type 2 deiodinase polymorphism causes ER stress and hypothyroidism in the brain, Journal of Clinical Investigation, Vol: 129, Pages: 230-245, ISSN: 0021-9738

Levothyroxine (LT4) is a form of thyroid hormone used to treat hypothyroidism. In the brain, T4 is converted to the active form T3 by the type 2 deiodinase (D2). Thus, it is intriguing that carriers of the Thr92Ala polymorphism in the D2 gene (DIO2) exhibit clinical improvement when liothyronine (LT3) is added to LT4 therapy. Here we report that D2 is a cargo protein in endoplasmic reticulum Golgi intermediary compartment (ERGIC) vesicles, recycling between ER and Golgi. The Thr92 to Ala substitution (Ala92-D2) caused ER stress and activated the unfolded protein response (UPR); Ala92-D2 accumulated in the trans-Golgi and generated less T3, all of which was restored by eliminating ER stress with the chemical chaperone 4-phenyl butyric acid (4-PBA). An Ala92-Dio2 polymorphism-carrying mouse exhibited UPR and hypothyroidism in distinct brain areas. The mouse refrained from physical activity, slept more and required additional time to memorize objects. Enhancing T3 signaling in the brain with LT3 improved cognition, whereas restoring proteostasis with 4-PBA eliminated the Ala92-Dio2 phenotype. In contrast, primary hypothyroidism intensified the Ala92-Dio2 phenotype, with only partial response to LT4 therapy. Disruption of cellular proteostasis and reduced Ala92-D2 activity may explain the failure of LT4 therapy in carriers of Thr92Ala-DIO2.

Journal article

Rauner M, Baschant U, Roetto A, Pellegrino RM, Rother S, Salbach-Hirsch J, Weidner H, Hintze V, Campbell G, Petzold A, Lemaitre R, Henry I, Bellido T, Theurl I, Altamura S, Colucci S, Muckenthaler MU, Schett G, Komla Ebri D, Bassett JHD, Williams GR, Platzbecker U, Hofbauer LCet al., 2019, Transferrin receptor 2 controls bone mass and pathological bone formation via BMP and Wnt signaling, Nature Metabolism, Vol: 1, Pages: 111-124, ISSN: 2522-5812

Transferrin receptor 2 (Tfr2) is mainly expressed in the liver and controls iron homeostasis. Here, we identify Tfr2 as a regulator of bone homeostasis that inhibits bone formation. Mice lacking Tfr2 display increased bone mass and mineralization independent of iron homeostasis and hepatic Tfr2. Bone marrow transplantation experiments and studies of cell-specific Tfr2 knockout mice demonstrate that Tfr2 impairs BMP-p38MAPK signaling and decreases expression of the Wnt inhibitor sclerostin specifically in osteoblasts. Reactivation of MAPK or overexpression of sclerostin rescues skeletal abnormalities in Tfr2 knockout mice. We further show that the extracellular domain of Tfr2 binds BMPs and inhibits BMP-2-induced heterotopic ossification by acting as a decoy receptor. These data indicate that Tfr2 limits bone formation by modulating BMP signaling, possibly through direct interaction with BMP either as a receptor or as a co-receptor in a complex with other BMP receptors. Finally, the Tfr2 extracellular domain may be effective in the treatment of conditions associated with pathological bone formation.

Journal article

Gregson CL, Newell F, Leo PJ, Clark GR, Paternoster L, Marshall M, Forgetta V, Morris JA, Ge B, Bao X, Duncan Bassett JH, Williams GR, Youlten SE, Croucher PI, Davey Smith G, Evans DM, Kemp JP, Brown MA, Tobias JH, Duncan ELet al., 2018, Genome-wide association study of extreme high bone mass: contribution of common genetic variation to extreme BMD phenotypes and potential novel BMD-associated genes, Bone, Vol: 114, Pages: 62-71, ISSN: 8756-3282

BACKGROUND: Generalised high bone mass (HBM), associated with features of a mild skeletal dysplasia, has a prevalence of 0.18% in a UK DXA-scanned adult population. We hypothesized that the genetic component of extreme HBM includes contributions from common variants of small effect and rarer variants of large effect, both enriched in an extreme phenotype cohort. METHODS: We performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of adults with either extreme high or low BMD. Adults included individuals with unexplained extreme HBM (n = 240) from the UK with BMD Z-scores ≥+3.2, high BMD females from the Anglo-Australasian Osteoporosis Genetics Consortium (AOGC) (n = 1055) with Z-scores +1.5 to +4.0 and low BMD females also part of AOGC (n = 900), with Z-scores -1.5 to -4.0. Following imputation, we tested association between 6,379,332 SNPs and total hip and lumbar spine BMD Z-scores. For potential target genes, we assessed expression in human osteoblasts and murine osteocytes. RESULTS: We observed significant enrichment for associations with established BMD-associated loci, particularly those known to regulate endochondral ossification and Wnt signalling, suggesting that part of the genetic contribution to unexplained HBM is polygenic. Further, we identified associations exceeding genome-wide significance between BMD and four loci: two established BMD-associated loci (5q14.3 containing MEF2C and 1p36.12 containing WNT4) and two novel loci: 5p13.3 containing NPR3 (rs9292469; minor allele frequency [MAF] = 0.33%) associated with lumbar spine BMD and 11p15.2 containing SPON1 (rs2697825; MAF = 0.17%) associated with total hip BMD. Mouse models with mutations in either Npr3 or Spon1 have been reported, both have altered skeletal phenotypes, providing in vivo validation that these genes are physiologically important in bone. NRP3 regulates endochondral ossification and skeletal growth, whilst SPON1 modulates TGF-β regulated BMP-driven osteoblast differentiation. Rs9292469

Journal article

Trajanoska K, Morris JA, Oei L, Zheng H-F, Evans DM, Kiel DP, Ohlsson C, Richards JB, Rivadeneira Fet al., 2018, Assessment of the genetic and clinical determinants of fracture risk: genome wide association and mendelian randomisation study, BMJ, Vol: 362, ISSN: 0959-8138

Objectives To identify the genetic determinants of fracture risk and assess the role of 15 clinical risk factors on osteoporotic fracture risk.Design Meta-analysis of genome wide association studies (GWAS) and a two-sample mendelian randomisation approach.Setting 25 cohorts from Europe, United States, east Asia, and Australia with genome wide genotyping and fracture data.Participants A discovery set of 37 857 fracture cases and 227 116 controls; with replication in up to 147 200 fracture cases and 150 085 controls. Fracture cases were defined as individuals (>18 years old) who had fractures at any skeletal site confirmed by medical, radiological, or questionnaire reports. Instrumental variable analyses were performed to estimate effects of 15 selected clinical risk factors for fracture in a two-sample mendelian randomisation framework, using the largest previously published GWAS meta-analysis of each risk factor.Results Of 15 fracture associated loci identified, all were also associated with bone mineral density and mapped to genes clustering in pathways known to be critical to bone biology (eg, SOST, WNT16, and ESR1) or novel pathways (FAM210A, GRB10, and ETS2). Mendelian randomisation analyses showed a clear effect of bone mineral density on fracture risk. One standard deviation decrease in genetically determined bone mineral density of the femoral neck was associated with a 55% increase in fracture risk (odds ratio 1.55 (95% confidence interval 1.48 to 1.63; P=1.5×10−68). Hand grip strength was inversely associated with fracture risk, but this result was not significant after multiple testing correction. The remaining clinical risk factors (including vitamin D levels) showed no evidence for an effect on fracture.Conclusions This large scale GWAS meta-analysis for fracture identified 15 genetic determinants of fracture, all of which also influenced bone mineral density. Among the clinical risk factors for fracture assesse

Journal article

Van Vliet NA, Noordam R, Van Klinken JB, Westendorp RGJ, Bassett JHD, Williams GR, Van Heemst Det al., 2018, Thyroid stimulating hormone and bone mineral density: evidence from a two-sample Mendelian randomization study and a candidate gene association study, Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, Vol: 33, Pages: 1318-1325, ISSN: 1523-4681

With population aging, prevalence of low bone mineral density (BMD) and associated fracture risk are increased. To determine whether low circulating thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) levels within the normal range are causally related to BMD, we conducted a two-sample Mendelian randomization (MR) study. Furthermore, we tested whether common genetic variants in the TSH receptor (TSHR) gene and genetic variants influencing expression of TSHR (eQTLs) are associated with BMD. For both analyses, we used summary-level data of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) investigating BMD of the femoral neck (N = 32,735) and the lumbar spine (N = 28,498) in cohorts of European ancestry from the Genetic Factors of Osteoporosis (GEFOS) Consortium. For the MR study, we selected 20 genetic variants that were previously identified for circulating TSH levels in a GWAS meta-analysis (N = 26,420). All independent genetic instruments for TSH were combined in analyses for both femoral neck and lumbar spine BMD. In these studies, we found no evidence that a genetically determined 1 standard deviation (SD) decrease in circulating TSH concentration was associated with femoral neck BMD (0.003 SD decrease in BMD per SD decrease of TSH, 95% C.I. -0.053; 0.048, P = 0.92) or lumbar spine BMD (0.010 SD decrease in BMD per SD decrease of TSH, 95% C.I. -0.069; 0.049, P = 0.73). A total of 706 common genetic variants have been mapped to the TSHR locus and expression loci for TSHR. However, none of these genetic variants were associated with BMD at the femoral neck or lumbar spine. In conclusion, we found no evidence for a causal effect of circulating TSH on BMD, nor did we find any association between genetic variation at the TSHR locus or expression thereof and BMD. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Journal article

Pereira M, Petretto E, Gordon S, Bassett JHD, Williams GR, Behmoaras Jet al., 2018, Common signalling pathways in macrophage and osteoclast multinucleation., J Cell Sci, Vol: 131

Macrophage cell fusion and multinucleation are fundamental processes in the formation of multinucleated giant cells (MGCs) in chronic inflammatory disease and osteoclasts in the regulation of bone mass. However, this basic cell phenomenon is poorly understood despite its pathophysiological relevance. Granulomas containing multinucleated giant cells are seen in a wide variety of complex inflammatory disorders, as well as in infectious diseases. Dysregulation of osteoclastic bone resorption underlies the pathogenesis of osteoporosis and malignant osteolytic bone disease. Recent reports have shown that the formation of multinucleated giant cells and osteoclast fusion display a common molecular signature, suggesting shared genetic determinants. In this Review, we describe the background of cell-cell fusion and the similar origin of macrophages and osteoclasts. We specifically focus on the common pathways involved in osteoclast and MGC fusion. We also highlight potential approaches that could help to unravel the core mechanisms underlying bone and granulomatous disorders in humans.

Journal article

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