UMMS Affiliation

Department of Cell and Developmental Biology



Document Type



Animals; Cell Differentiation; Cell Line; Chromatin; Core Binding Factor Alpha 1 Subunit; Humans; Mice; Osteoblasts; *Promoter Regions, Genetic; Synteny; Transcription Factors


Three-dimensional organization of chromatin is fundamental for transcriptional regulation. Tissue-specific transcriptional programs are orchestrated by transcription factors and epigenetic regulators. The RUNX2 transcription factor is required for differentiation of precursor cells into mature osteoblasts. Although organization and control of the bone-specific Runx2-P1 promoter have been studied extensively, long-range regulation has not been explored. In this study, we investigated higher-order organization of the Runx2-P1 promoter during osteoblast differentiation. Mining the ENCODE database revealed interactions between Runx2-P1 and Supt3h promoters in several non-mesenchymal human cell lines. Supt3h is a ubiquitously expressed gene located within the first intron of Runx2. These two genes show shared synteny across species from humans to sponges. Chromosome conformation capture analysis in the murine pre-osteoblastic MC3T3-E1 cell line revealed increased contact frequency between Runx2-P1 and Supt3h promoters during differentiation. This increase was accompanied by enhanced DNaseI hypersensitivity along with RUNX2 and CTCF binding at the Supt3h promoter. Furthermore, interplasmid-3C and luciferase reporter assays showed that the Supt3h promoter can modulate Runx2-P1 activity via direct association. Taken together, our data demonstrate physical proximity between Runx2-P1 and Supt3h promoters, consistent with their syntenic nature. Importantly, we identify the Supt3h promoter as a potential regulator of the bone-specific Runx2-P1 promoter. Acids Research.

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Citation: Nucleic Acids Res. 2014;42(16):10360-72. doi: 10.1093/nar/gku712. Link to article on publisher's site. Epub 2014 Aug 12.


© The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Co-author Jason Dobson is a doctoral student in the Cell Biology program in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) at UMass Medical School.

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal Title

Nucleic acids research

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License


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