Tyrosine kinase receptor c-ros-oncogene 1 inhibition alleviates aberrant bone formation of TWIST-1 haploinsufficient calvarial cells from Saethre–Chotzen syndrome patients

Esther Camp, Peter J. Anderson, Andrew Zannettino, Carlotta A. Glackin, Stan Gronthos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Saethre–Chotzen syndrome (SCS), associated with TWIST-1 mutations, is characterized by premature fusion of cranial sutures. TWIST-1 haploinsufficiency, leads to alterations in suture mesenchyme cellular gene expression patterns, resulting in aberrant osteogenesis and craniosynostosis. We analyzed the expression of the TWIST-1 target, Tyrosine kinase receptor c-ros-oncogene 1 (C-ROS-1) in TWIST-1 haploinsufficient calvarial cells derived from SCS patients and calvaria of Twist-1del/+ mutant mice and found it to be highly expressed when compared to TWIST-1 wild-type controls. Knock-down of C-ROS-1 expression in TWIST-1 haploinsufficient calvarial cells derived from SCS patients was associated with decreased capacity for osteogenic differentiation in vitro. Furthermore, treatment of human SCS calvarial cells with the tyrosine kinase chemical inhibitor, Crizotinib, resulted in reduced C-ROS-1 activity and the osteogenic potential of human SCS calvarial cells with minor effects on cell viability or proliferation. Cultured human SCS calvarial cells treated with Crizotinib exhibited a dose-dependent decrease in alkaline phosphatase activity and mineral deposition, with an associated decrease in expression levels of Runt-related transcription factor 2 and OSTEOPONTIN, with reduced PI3K/Akt signalling in vitro. Furthermore, Crizotinib treatment resulted in reduced BMP-2 mediated bone formation potential of whole Twist-1del/+ mutant mouse calvaria organotypic cultures. Collectively, these results suggest that C-ROS-1 promotes osteogenic differentiation of TWIST-1 haploinsufficient calvarial osteogenic progenitor cells. Furthermore, the aberrant osteogenic potential of these cells is inhibited by the reduction of C-ROS-1. Therefore, targeting C-ROS-1 with a pharmacological agent, such as Crizotinib, may serve as a novel therapeutic strategy to alleviate craniosynostosis associated with aberrant TWIST-1 function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7320-7332
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Sep 2018


  • C-ROS-1
  • Saethre–Chotzen
  • TWIST-1
  • Twist-1 heterozygous mice
  • calvarial cells
  • osteoblasts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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