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Crif1 Promotes Osteoporosis in Mice after Radiation

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Abstract Radiation induces rapid bone loss and enhances bone resorption and RANKL expression. RANKL provides the crucial signal to induce osteoclast differentiation and plays an important role in bone resorption. However, the mechanisms of radiation-induced osteoporosis are not fully understood. Here, we show that Crif1 expression increases in bone marrow cells after radiation. Conditional Crif1 deletion in bone marrow cells causes decreases in RANKL expression and the RANKL/OPG ratio, and relieves bone loss after radiation in mice. We further demonstrated in vitro that Crif1 promotes RANKL secretion via the cAMP/PKA pathway. Moreover, protein-protein docking screening identified five compounds as Crif1 inhibitors; these compounds dramatically suppressed RANKL secretion and CREB phosphorylation when cells were exposed to forskolin. This study enriches current knowledge of the pathogenesis of osteoporosis and provides insights into potential therapeutic strategies for osteoporosis treatment.

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