Int J Biol Sci 2022; 18(11):4482-4496. doi:10.7150/ijbs.72487 This issue

Research Paper

Babam2 negatively regulates osteoclastogenesis by interacting with Hey1 to inhibit Nfatc1 transcription

Fujun Jin1,2#, Yexuan Zhu2#, Meijing Liu1#, Rongze Wang2, Yi Cui1, Yanting Wu2, Gang Liu3, Yifei Wang2✉, Xiaogang Wang1✉, Zhe Ren2✉

1. Key Laboratory of Big Data-Based Precision Medicine, School of Engineering Medicine, Beihang University, Beijing 100191, China.
2. Guangzhou Jinan Biomedicine Research and Development Center, Institute of Biomedicine, College of Life Science and Technology, Jinan University, Guangzhou 510632, China.
3. Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou 510515, China.
# These authors contributed equally to this work.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( See for full terms and conditions.
Jin F, Zhu Y, Liu M, Wang R, Cui Y, Wu Y, Liu G, Wang Y, Wang X, Ren Z. Babam2 negatively regulates osteoclastogenesis by interacting with Hey1 to inhibit Nfatc1 transcription. Int J Biol Sci 2022; 18(11):4482-4496. doi:10.7150/ijbs.72487. Available from

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Graphic abstract

Osteoclast-mediated excessive bone resorption was highly related to diverse bone diseases including osteoporosis. BRISC and BRCA1-A complex member 2 (Babam2) was an evolutionarily conserved protein that is highly expressed in bone tissues. However, whether Babam2 is involved in osteoclast formation is still unclear. In this study, we identify Babam2 as an essential negative regulator of osteoclast formation. We demonstrate that Babam2 knockdown significantly accelerated osteoclast formation and activity, while Babam2 overexpression blocked osteoclast formation and activity. Moreover, we demonstrate that the bone resorption activity was significantly downregulated in Babam2-transgenic mice as compared with wild-type littermates. Consistently, the bone mass of the Babam2-transgenic mice was increased. Furthermore, we found that Babam2-transgenic mice were protected from LPS-induced bone resorption activation and thus reduced the calvarial bone lesions. Mechanistically, we demonstrate that the inhibitory effects of Babam2 on osteoclast differentiation were dependent on Hey1. As silencing Hey1 largely diminished the effects of Babam2 on osteoclastogenesis. Finally, we show that Babam2 interacts with Hey1 to inhibit Nfatc1 transcription. In sum, our results suggested that Babam2 negatively regulates osteoclastogenesis and bone resorption by interacting with Hey1 to inhibit Nfatc1 transcription. Therefore, targeting Babam2 may be a novel therapeutic approach for osteoclast-related bone diseases.

Keywords: Bone resorption, Osteoclasts, Babam2, Hey1, Nfatc1, Osteoporosis