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J Biol Chem. 2000 Apr 28;275(17):12948-53.

Activating transcription factor 2 is necessary for maximal activity and serum induction of the cyclin A promoter in chondrocytes.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta T2N 4N1, Canada.


Endochondral bone growth is regulated through the proliferation and differentiation of growth plate chondrocytes. Mice deficient for the activating transcription factor 2 (ATF-2) gene show reduced proliferation of chondrocytes. Here we demonstrate that the cyclin A gene is a target of ATF-2 in chondrocytes. Serum stimulation of chondrogenic rat chondrosarcoma cells induces cyclin A expression. A cyclic AMP response element (CRE) is necessary for optimal activity and serum inducibility of the cyclin A promoter and confers regulation by ATF-2. Phosphorylation and activity of ATF-2 are enhanced dramatically upon serum stimulation of rat chondrosarcoma cells. Mutation of the CRE or overexpression of dominant-negative ATF-2 inhibits serum induction of the cyclin A promoter. Chondrocytes from ATF-2-deficient mice display reduced and delayed induction of cyclin A upon serum stimulation. The ATF-2-related transcription factor CRE-binding protein contributes to the activity of the cyclin A CRE in chondrocytes, whereas c-Jun and c-Fos regulate the promoter independently of the CRE. Our data suggest that the reduction in cyclin A levels in chondrocytes from ATF-2-deficient mice contributes to their phenotype of reduced chondrocyte proliferation and dwarfism.

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