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Piezo1/2 mediate mechanotransduction essential for bone formation through concerted activation of NFAT-YAP1–catenin

Zhou, T;Gao, B;Fan, Y;Liu, Y;Feng, S;Cong, Q;Zhang, X;Zhou, Y;Yadav, PS;Lin, J;Wu, N;Zhao, L;Huang, D;Zhou, S;Su, P;Yang, Y;

Mechanical forces are fundamental regulators of cell behaviors. However, molecular regulation of mechanotransduction remain poorly understood. Here, we identified the mechanosensitive channels Piezo1 and Piezo2 as key force sensors required for bone development and osteoblast differentiation. Loss of Piezo1, or more severely Piezo1/2, in mesenchymal or osteoblast progenitor cells, led to multiple spontaneous bone fractures in newborn mice due to inhibition of osteoblast differentiation and increased bone resorption. In addition, loss of Piezo1/2 rendered resistant to further bone loss caused by unloading in both bone development and homeostasis. Mechanistically, Piezo1/2 relayed fluid shear stress and extracellular matrix stiffness signals to activate Ca2+ influx to stimulate Calcineurin, which promotes concerted activation of NFATc1, YAP1 and -catenin transcription factors by inducing their dephosphorylation as well as NFAT/YAP1/-catenin complex formation. Yap1 and -catenin activities were reduced in the Piezo1 and Piezo1/2 mutant bones and such defects were partially rescued by enhanced -catenin activities. 2020, Zhou et al.