Alternative splicing in bone following mechanical loading

Sara M. Mantila Roosa, Yunlong Liu, Charles H. Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


It is estimated that more than 90% of human genes express multiple mRNA transcripts due to alternative splicing. Consequently, the proteins produced by different splice variants will likely have different functions and expression levels. Several genes with splice variants are known in bone, with functions that affect osteoblast function and bone formation. The primary goal of this study was to evaluate the extent of alternative splicing in a bone subjected to mechanical loading and subsequent bone formation. We used the rat forelimb loading model, in which the right forelimb was loaded axially for 3 min, while the left forearm served as a non-loaded control. Animals were subjected to loading sessions every day, with 24 h between sessions. Ulnae were sampled at 11 time points, from 4 h to 32. days after beginning loading. RNA was isolated and mRNA abundance was measured at each time point using Affymetrix exon arrays (GeneChip® Rat Exon 1.0 ST Arrays). An ANOVA model was used to identify potential alternatively spliced genes across the time course, and five alternatively spliced genes were validated with qPCR: Akap12, Fn1, Pcolce, Sfrp4, and Tpm1. The number of alternatively spliced genes varied with time, ranging from a low of 68 at 12. h to a high of 992 at 16d. We identified genes across the time course that encoded proteins with known functions in bone formation, including collagens, matrix proteins, and components of the Wnt/β-catenin and TGF-β signaling pathways. We also identified alternatively spliced genes encoding cytokines, ion channels, muscle-related genes, and solute carriers that do not have a known function in bone formation and represent potentially novel findings. In addition, a functional characterization was performed to categorize the global functions of the alternatively spliced genes in our data set. In conclusion, mechanical loading induces alternative splicing in bone, which may play an important role in the response of bone to mechanical loading.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)543-551
Number of pages9
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2011


  • Alternative splicing
  • Bone formation
  • Exon arrays
  • Mechanical loading

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Histology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Alternative splicing in bone following mechanical loading'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this