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Defining the role of the FGF – autophagy axis in bone physiology

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "BONEPHAGY" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: VIA VARESE 16/B
city: ROMA
postcode: 185

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Italy [IT]
 Total cost 1˙586˙430 €
 EC max contribution 1˙586˙430 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2016-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-01-01   to  2021-12-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    FONDAZIONE TELETHON IT (ROMA) coordinator 1˙586˙430.00


 Project objective

Autophagy is a fundamental cellular catabolic process deputed to the degradation and recycling of a variety of intracellular materials. Autophagy plays a significant role in multiple human physio-pathological processes and is now emerging as a critical regulator of skeletal development and homeostasis. We have discovered that during postnatal development in mice, the growth factor FGF18 induces autophagy in the chondrocyte cells of the growth plate to regulate the secretion of type II collagen, a major component of cartilaginous extracellular matrix. The FGF signaling pathways play crucial roles during skeletal development and maintenance and are deregulated in many skeletal disorders. Hence our findings may offer the unique opportunity to uncover new molecular mechanisms through which FGF pathways regulate skeletal development and maintenance and to identify new targets for the treatment of FGF-related skeletal disorders. In this grant application we propose to study the role played by the different FGF ligands and receptors on autophagy regulation and to investigate the physiological relevance of these findings in the context of skeletal growth, homeostasis and maintenance. We will also investigate the intracellular machinery that links FGF signalling pathways to the regulation of autophagy. In addition, we generated preliminary data showing an impairment of autophagy in chondrocyte models of Achondroplasia (ACH) and Thanathoporic dysplasia, two skeletal disorders caused by mutations in FGFR3. We propose to study the role of autophagy in the pathogenesis of FGFR3-related dwarfisms and explore the pharmacological modulation of autophagy as new therapeutic approach for achondroplasia. This application, which combines cell biology, mouse genetics and pharmacological approaches, has the potential to shed light on new mechanisms involved in organismal development and homeostasis, which could be targeted to treat bone and cartilage diseases.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2017 Rosa Bartolomeo, Laura Cinque, Chiara De Leonibus, Alison Forrester, Anna Chiara Salzano, Jlenia Monfregola, Emanuela De Gennaro, Edoardo Nusco, Isabella Azario, Carmela Lanzara, Marta Serafini, Beth Levine, Andrea Ballabio, Carmine Settembre
mTORC1 hyperactivation arrests bone growth in lysosomal storage disorders by suppressing autophagy
published pages: 3717-3729, ISSN: 0021-9738, DOI: 10.1172/JCI94130
Journal of Clinical Investigation 127/10 2019-04-03

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