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J Bone Miner Res. 2012 Dec;27(12):2526-34. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.1708.

The transcription factor paired box-5 promotes osteoblastogenesis through direct induction of Osterix and Osteocalcin.

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  • 1Laboratory of Molecular Pharmacology, Division of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kanazawa University Graduate School of Natural Science and Technology, Kanazawa, Ishikawa, Japan.


Although skeletal abnormalities are seen in mice deficient of particular paired box (Pax) family proteins, little attention has been paid to their role in osteoblastogenesis so far. Here, we investigated the possible involvement of several Pax family members in mechanisms underlying the regulation of differentiation and maturation of osteoblasts. Among different Pax family members tested, Pax5 was not markedly expressed in murine calvarial osteoblasts before culture, but progressively expressed by osteoblasts under differentiation toward maturation. Immunoreactive Pax5 was highly detectable in primary cultured mature osteoblasts on immunoblotting and in osteoblastic cells attached to cancellous bone in mouse tibial sections on immunohistochemistry, respectively. Knockdown by small interfering RNA (siRNA) of endogenous Pax5 led to significant inhibition of the expression of Osteocalcin, and Osterix through deterioration of gene transactivation, in addition to a1(I)Collagen expression and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) staining, without affecting runt-related transcription factor-2 (Runx2) expression and cell viability in osteoblastic MC3T3-E1 cells. The introduction of Pax5 enhanced promoter activities of Osteocalcin and Osterix in a manner dependent on the paired domain in MC3T3-E1 cells. Putative Pax5 binding sites were identified in the 5'-flanking regions of mouse Osteocalcin and Osterix, whereas chromatin immunoprecipitation assay revealed the direct binding of Pax5 to particular regions of Osteocalcin and Osterix promoters in MC3T3-E1 cells. Overexpression of Pax5 significantly increased Osteocalcin, Osterix, and a1(I)Collagen expression, ALP activity, and Ca(2+) accumulation, without affecting Runx2 expression, in MC3T3-E1 cells. In vertebrae of transgenic mice predominantly expressing Pax5 in osteoblasts, a significant increase was seen in the ratio of bone volume over tissue volume and the bone formation rate. These findings suggest that Pax5 could positively regulate osteoblastic differentiation toward maturation in vitro, in addition to promoting bone formation and remodeling in vivo, as one of the transcription factors essential for controlling osteoblastogenesis independently of Runx2.

Copyright © 2012 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.

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