CCAAT/enhancer-binding proteins (C/EBP) beta and delta activate osteocalcin gene transcription and synergize with Runx2 at the C/EBP element to regulate bone-specific expression
Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; Department of Cell Biology
Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences
CCAAT/enhancer-binding proteins (C/EBP) are critical determinants for cellular differentiation and cell type-specific gene expression. Their functional roles in osteoblast development have not been determined. We addressed a key component of the mechanisms by which C/EBP factors regulate transcription of a tissue-specific gene during osteoblast differentiation. Expression of both C/EBPbeta and C/EBPdelta increases from the growth to maturation developmental stages and, like the bone-specific osteocalcin (OC) gene, is also stimulated 3-6-fold by vitamin D(3), a regulator of osteoblast differentiation. We characterized a C/EBP enhancer element in the proximal promoter of the rat osteocalcin gene, which resides in close proximity to a Runx2 (Cbfa1) element, essential for tissue-specific activation. We find that C/EBP and Runx2 factors interact together in a synergistic manner to enhance OC transcription (35-40-fold) in cell culture systems. We show by mutational analysis that this synergism is mediated through the C/EBP-responsive element in the OC promoter and by a direct interaction between Runx2 and C/EBPbeta. Furthermore, we have mapped a domain in Runx2 necessary for this interaction by immunoprecipitation. A Runx2 mutant lacking this interaction domain does not exhibit functional synergism. We conclude that, in addition to Runx2 DNA binding functions, Runx2 can also form a protein complex at C/EBP sites to regulate transcription. Taken together, our findings indicate that C/EBP is a principal transactivator of the OC gene and the synergism with Runx2 suggests that a combinatorial interaction of these factors is a principal mechanism for regulating tissue-specific expression during osteoblast differentiation.
DOI of Published Version
J Biol Chem. 2002 Jan 11;277(2):1316-23. Epub 2001 Oct 19. Link to article on publisher's site
The Journal of biological chemistry
Gutierrez SE, Javed A, Tennant DK, van Rees M, Montecino MA, Stein GS, Stein JL, Lian JB. (2001). CCAAT/enhancer-binding proteins (C/EBP) beta and delta activate osteocalcin gene transcription and synergize with Runx2 at the C/EBP element to regulate bone-specific expression. GSBS Student Publications. https://doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M106611200. Retrieved from https://escholarship.umassmed.edu/gsbs_sp/462