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J Biol Chem. 2003 May 9;278(19):17360-7. Epub 2003 Feb 25.

Expression of galectin-3 in skeletal tissues is controlled by Runx2.

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  • 1Division of Hematology/Oncology, Medical Center, University of Freiburg, 79106 Freiburg, Germany.

Abstract

The beta-galatoside-specific lectin galectin-3 is expressed in vivo in osteoblasts as well as in epiphyseal cartilage. Here we show that in vitro, galectin-3 expression is up-regulated in the preosteoblastic cell line MC3T3-E1 during the matrix maturation stage of the osteoblast developmental sequence. Expression persists into late differentiation stages when the mature osteoblastic phenotype is established. The skeletal expression pattern of galectin-3 overlaps at many sites with that of the transcription factor Runx2. Runx2 is a key regulator of osteoblast development and necessary for chondrocyte differentiation in the growth plate. Both human and mouse galectin-3 promoters contain putative Runx-binding sites. The constitutive or inducible forced expression of Runx2 is sufficient for the onset of galectin-3 transcription in the mesenchymal precursor cell line C3H10T1/2. Moreover, Runx2 is able to bind to at least two sites in the galectin-3 promoter region. The crucial role of Runx2 was confirmed in Runx2-deficient mice, which are devoid of galectin-3 expression in skeletal cells. The overlapping expression pattern of galectin-3 with the other two members of the Runt family of transcription factors (Runx1 and Runx3) points to a potential regulation of the galectin-3 gene (LGALS3) by these factors in hematopoietic, skin, and dorsal root ganglial cells.

PMID:
12604608
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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