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

Expression of rat homeobox gene, rHOX, in developing and adult tissues in mice and regulation of its mRNA expression in osteoblasts by bone morphogenetic protein 2 and parathyroid hormone-related protein.

The rat homeobox gene, rHox, was cloned from a rat osteosarcoma cDNA library. Southwestern and gel mobility shift analyses showed that rHox binds to the promoter regions of collagen (alpha1)I and osteocalcin genes while transient transfection with rHox resulted in repression of their respective promoter activities. In situ hybridization studies showed that rHox mRNA was widely expressed in osteoblasts, chondrocytes, skeletal muscle, skin epidermis, and bronchial and intestinal epithelial cells, as well as cardiac muscle in embryonic and newborn mice. However in 3-month-old mice, rHox mRNA expression was restricted to osteoblasts, megakaryocytes, and myocardium. Bone morphogenetic protein 2, a growth factor that commits mesenchymal progenitor cells to differentiate into osteoblasts, down-regulated rHox mRNA expression by 40-50% in UMR 201, a rat preosteoblast cell line, in a time- and dose-dependent manner. In contrast, PTH-related protein (PTHrP), recently shown to be a negative regulator of chondrocyte differentiation, significantly enhanced rHox mRNA expression in UMR 106-06 osteoblastic cells by 3-fold at 24 h while at the same time down-regulating expression of pro-alpha1(I) collagen mRNA by 60%. Expression of rHox mRNA in calvarial osteoblasts derived from PTHrP -/- mice was approximately 15% of that observed in similar cells obtained from normal mice. In conclusion, current evidence suggests that rHox acts as a negative regulator of osteoblast differentiation. Furthermore, down-regulation of rHox mRNA by bone morphogenetic protein 2 and its up-regulation by PTHrP support a role of the homeodomain protein, rHox, in osteoblast differentiation.[1]


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