The histone methyltransferase ASH1L protects against bone loss by inhibiting osteoclastogenesis

Xiaoli Zhao, Shuai Lin, Hangjiang Ren, Shenghui Sun, Liyun Zheng, Lin Feng Chen, Zhen Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Absent, small, or homeotic1-like (ASH1L) is a histone lysine methyltransferase that generally functions as a transcriptional activator in controlling cell fate. So far, its physiological relevance in bone homeostasis and osteoclast differentiation remains elusive. Here, by conditional deleting Ash1l in osteoclast progenitors of mice, we found ASH1L deficiency resulted in osteoporosis and potentiation of osteoclastogenesis in vivo and in vitro. Mechanistically, ASH1L binds the promoter of the Src homology 3 and cysteine-rich domain 2 (Stac2) and increases the gene’s transcription via histone 3 lysine 4 (H3K4) trimethylation modification, thus augmenting the STAC2’s protection against receptor activator of nuclear factor kB ligand (RANKL)-initiated inflammation during osteoclast formation. Collectively, we demonstrate the first piece of evidence to prove ASH1L as a critical checkpoint during osteoclastogenesis. The work sheds new light on our understanding about the biological function of ASH1L in bone homeostasis, therefore providing a valuable therapeutic target for the treatment of osteoporosis or inflammatory bone diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)605-617
Number of pages13
JournalCell Death and Differentiation
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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