Gene array profile identifies collagen type XV as a novel human osteoblast-secreted matrix protein

Gina Lisignoli, Katia Codeluppi, Katia Todoerti, Cristina Manferdini, Anna Piacentini, Nicoletta Zini, Francesco Grassi, Luca Cattini, Roberta Piva, Vittorio Rizzoli, Andrea Facchini, Nicola Giuliani, Antonino Neri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bone marrow stromal cells (MSCs) and osteoblasts are the two main non-haematopoietic cellular components of human bone tissue. To identify novel osteoblast-related molecules, we performed a gene expression profiling analysis comparing MSCs and osteoblasts isolated from the same donors. Genes differentially overexpressed in osteoblasts were mainly related to the negative control of cell proliferation, pro-apoptotic processes, protein metabolism and bone remodelling. Notably, we also identified the collagen XV (COL15A1) gene as the most up-regulated gene in osteoblasts compared with MSCs, previously described as being expressed in the basement membrane in other cell types. The expression of collagen type XV was confirmed at the protein level on isolated osteoblasts and we demonstrated that it significantly increases during the osteogenic differentiation of MSCs in vitro and that free ionised extracellular calcium significantly downmodulates its expression. Moreover, light and electron microscopy showed that collagen type XV is expressed in bone tissue biopsies mainly by working osteoblasts forming new bone tissue or lining bone trabeculae. To our knowledge, these data represent the first evidence of the expression of collagen type XV in human osteoblasts, a calcium-regulated protein which correlates to a specific functional state of these cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-409
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Physiology


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