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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Vitamin D(3) enhances the expression of I-mfa, an inhibitor of the MyoD family, in osteoblasts.

I-mfa (inhibitor of the MyoD family) is a transcription modulator that binds to and suppresses the transcriptional activity of MyoD family members. I-mfa transcripts are expressed in sclerotome, suggesting a role of I-mfa in skeletogenesis. The aim of this study was to examine the expression and regulation of I-mfa in osteoblasts. We found that I-mfa is expressed at a low level in an osteoblast-like cell line, MC3T3E1, and a pluripotent differentiation modulator, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3), specifically enhanced I-mfa mRNA expression. This effect was completely blocked by the presence of an RNA polymerase inhibitor, but not by a protein synthesis inhibitor, suggesting that 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3) upregulates transcription of the I-mfa gene without requirement for new protein synthesis. Western blot analysis indicated that 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3) increased the I-mfa protein levels severalfold in MC3T3E1 cells. I-mfa expression was also observed in primary mouse calvaria cells and ROS17/2.8 cells and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3) enhanced I-mfa expression in these cells. These data indicate that I-mfa is a novel transcriptional regulator gene expressed in osteoblasts and that its level is under the control of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3).[1]


  1. Vitamin D(3) enhances the expression of I-mfa, an inhibitor of the MyoD family, in osteoblasts. Tsuji, K., Kraut, N., Groudine, M., Noda, M. Biochim. Biophys. Acta (2001) [Pubmed]
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