The filamins are cytoplasmic proteins that regulate the structure and activity of the cytoskeleton by cross-linking actin into three-dimensional networks, linking the cell membrane to the cytoskeleton and serving as scaffolds on which intracellular signaling and protein trafficking pathways are organized (reviewed in refs. 1,2). We identified mutations in the gene encoding filamin B in four human skeletal disorders. We found homozygosity or compound heterozygosity with respect to stop-codon mutations in autosomal recessive spondylocarpotarsal syndrome (SCT, OMIM 272460) and missense mutations in individuals with autosomal dominant Larsen syndrome (OMIM 150250) and the perinatal lethal atelosteogenesis I and III phenotypes (AOI, OMIM 108720; AOIII, OMIM 108721). We found that filamin B is expressed in human growth plate chondrocytes and in the developing vertebral bodies in the mouse. These data indicate an unexpected role in vertebral segmentation, joint formation and endochondral ossification for this ubiquitously expressed cytoskeletal protein.
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