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Richard Barbuto and Jane Mitchell

Osterix (Osx, Sp7) is a zinc-finger transcription factor belonging to the specificity protein (Sp) family expressed in cells of the osteoblast lineage in the developing skeleton where it regulates expression of a number of osteoblastic genes. We previously reported inhibition of osterix mRNA and protein by parathyroid hormone (PTH) stimulation of cAMP in osteoblasts. We here show that Osx expression in osteoblasts is regulated by Sp proteins as demonstrated by mithramycin A inhibition of Osx mRNA and OSX protein levels. Mutation of putative transcription factor binding sites within the Osx promoter demonstrated a tandem repeat sequence that selectively binds OSX but not other Sp factors expressed in osteoblasts (Sp1, Sp3, or Tieg (Klf10)). Mutation of either or both the repeat sequences inhibited 90% of the promoter activity and also abrogated some of the PTH-mediated inhibition of the promoter. Previous studies have shown growth factor regulation of Osx expression by MAPK proteins, particularly p38 phosphorylation of OSX that increases its transcriptional activity. PTH stimulation of osteoblasts inhibits MAPK components (ERK, JNK, and p38) but inhibition of Osx mRNA and protein expression by PTH was selectively mimicked by p38 inhibition and expression of constitutively active MKK6, which stimulates p38, blocked PTH inhibition of OSX. Together, our studies suggest that OSX autoregulation is a major mechanism in osteoblasts and that PTH stimulation inhibits osterix by inhibition of p38 MAPK regulation of OSX.

Free access

Mary S Erclik and Jane Mitchell

We have previously shown that parathyroid hormone (PTH) stimulates the expression of insulin-like growth factor binding protein-5 (IGFBP-5) transcript levels in the osteosarcoma cell-line, UMR106–01 cells. In the present study we examined the molecular basis for the PTH induction of IGFBP-5 mRNA in these cells. PTH had no effect on the half-life of the IGFBP-5 transcript but did stimulate the transactivation of the proximal 889 base pairs of the rat IGFBP 5′ flanking region in a luciferase fusion construct, suggesting that PTH stimulates transcript levels through transcriptional mechanisms. Progressive 5′ deletions to −59 base pairs of the proximal promoter region had no effect on PTH induction of transactivation, indicating that an element existed within the first −59 base pairs upstream of the transcription start site that was responsive to PTH. Within the −59 base pairs there are CCAAT/enhancer binding protein (C/EBP), E-box, nuclear factor-1 (NF-1) and activator protein-2 (AP-2) elements. Mutation of the C/EBP, E-box or NF-1 elements had no effect on the ability of PTH to induce the transactivation of the IGFBP-5 promoter. Mutation of the AP-2 element resulted in a 40% reduction of PTH-stimulated luciferase activity. When three tandem repeats of the AP-2 consensus sequence were fused to a luciferase reporter, PTH stimulated a 25% increase in reporter activity. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays using UMR106–01 cell nuclear extracts showed that PTH caused a prominent shifted band in a probe spanning the region containing all four elements. The shifted band was almost completely absent when the probe contained a mutated AP-2 element. These results suggest that the AP-2 element functions in the PTH induction of IGFBP-5 gene expression.

Free access

Shara H H Hong, Xianghuai Lu, Mark S Nanes and Jane Mitchell

Parathyroid hormone (PTH) binds to its receptor on osteoblasts to regulate gene transcription primarily through the elevation of the second messenger cAMP. A number of genes regulated by PTH in osteoblasts contain GC-rich and Sp-binding sites. Osterix (Osx, Sp7) is a transcription factor required for the differentiation of osteoblasts that can bind to Sp-binding sites on gene promoters and regulate their expression. Here, we report the effect of PTH (1–34) on Osx expression in osteoblastic UMR-106-01 cells and murine calvaria. PTH (1–34) and PTH (1–31) inhibited Osx mRNA and protein expression, and this effect could be mimicked by forskolin, 8-bromo-cAMP, or expression of constitutively active Gsα (caGsα). Treatment of the cells with PTH (3–34) or the EPAC-selective agonist 8CPT-2Me-cAMP had no effect on Osx mRNA, whereas PTH (7–34) or expression of caGqα-stimulated Osx mRNA levels. PTH (1–34) treatment did not require new protein synthesis and did not involve changes in Osx mRNA stability. Osx promoter fragments coupled to a luciferase reporter were inhibited by PTH (1–34) treatment in a similar manner to the inhibition of Osx mRNA and protein. Deletion analysis localized PTH inhibition to two regions flanking the Osx1 start site; −304/−119 and −71/+91. These results demonstrate that prolonged exposure to PTH inhibits Osx expression in osteoblasts through sites on its proximal promoter and this suppression occurs through PTH stimulation of cellular cAMP.