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Coatomer complexes function in the sorting and trafficking of proteins between subcellular organelles. Pathogenic variants in coatomer subunits or associated factors have been reported in multi-systemic disorders, i.e., coatopathies, that can affect the skeletal and central nervous systems. We have identified loss-of-function variants in COPB2 , a component of the coatomer complex I (COPI), in individuals presenting with osteoporosis, fractures and developmental delay of variable severity. Because the role of COPB2 in bone has not been characterized, we studied the effect of COPB2 deficiency on skeletal development in mice and zebrafish. Copb2 +/− mice showed low bone mass and decreased bone strength. In zebrafish, larvae carrying a copb2 heterozygous frameshift variant showed delayed mineralization. copb2 -null embryos showed endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and Golgi disorganization, and embryonic lethality. COPB2 siRNA-treated fibroblasts showed delayed collagen trafficking with retention of type I collagen in the ER and Golgi, and altered distribution of Golgi markers. Our data suggest that COPB2 haploinsufficiency leads to disruption of intracellular collagen trafficking and osteoporosis, which may improve with ascorbic acid supplementation. This work highlights the role of COPI complex as a critical regulator of bone mass and identifies a new form of coatopathy due to COPB2 deficiency.

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Journal article

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Undiagnosed Diseases Network Monte Westerfield