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

Retinoic acid modulation of mRNA levels in malignant, nontransformed, and immortalized osteoblasts.

Clonal cell lines presumably "arrested" at a particular stage of differentiation are useful models to study the processes of differentiation in osteoblasts. UMR-201 is a presumptive preosteoblastic nontransformed rat clonal cell line with a limited life span in culture. Two immortalized cell lines, UMR-201-10A (10A) and UMR-201-10B (10B), were derived from UMR-201 by stable transfection with simian virus (SV) 40 large T antigen. This study compares the growth and profile of gene expression of the immortalized cell lines with those of UMR-201 and UMR-106-06, a rat clonal cell line with well-defined osteoblast-like phenotypic characteristics. All four cell lines constitutively expressed the mRNA for the gamma, alpha, and beta receptors for retinoic acid (RA), the growth hormone receptor, pro-alpha 1(I) collagen, osteonectin, bone proteoglycan I, and bone morphogenetic proteins (BMP) 1 and 2A. Alkaline phosphatase mRNA was absent in the preosteoblast cell lines but was induced by treatment with 10(-6) M RA, which also increased the steady-state levels of mRNA for osteopontin and BMP1. mRNA for matrix gla protein was constitutively present and further induced by RA in UMR-201 and 10B only. Messenger RNA for bone sialoprotein and bone morphogenetic protein 3 were constitutively expressed in UMR-106-06 and UMR-201 but absent in the immortalized cell lines. None of the cell lines expressed measurable mRNA for bone gla protein or bone proteoglycan II. 10B grew more rapidly than UMR-201, but unlike UMR-201, it was also able to proliferate in serum-free medium and exhibit anchorage-independent growth. In summary, this study identifies novel retinoic acid effects on gene expression in these cells. Differences noted in the expression of mRNAs between UMR-106-06 and the other cell lines may provide some insight into the sequence of expression of these phenotypic characteristics as osteoblasts differentiate.[1]


  1. Retinoic acid modulation of mRNA levels in malignant, nontransformed, and immortalized osteoblasts. Zhou, H., Hammonds, R.G., Findlay, D.M., Fuller, P.J., Martin, T.J., Ng, K.W. J. Bone Miner. Res. (1991) [Pubmed]
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