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Dev Cell. 2005 Dec;9(6):757-67.

EBF2 regulates osteoblast-dependent differentiation of osteoclasts.

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Gene center and Institute for Biochemistry, University of Munich, 81377 Munich, Germany.


Communication between bone-depositing osteoblasts and bone-resorbing osteoclasts is required for bone development and homeostasis. Here, we identify EBF2, a member of the early B cell factor (EBF) family of transcription factors that is expressed in osteoblast progenitors, as a regulator of osteoclast differentiation. We find that mice homozygous for a targeted inactivation of Ebf2 show reduced bone mass and an increase in the number of osteoclasts. These defects are accompanied by a marked downregulation of the osteoprotegerin (Opg) gene, encoding a RANK decoy receptor. EBF2 binds to sequences in the Opg promoter and transactivates the Opg promoter in synergy with the Wnt-responsive LEF1/TCF:beta-catenin pathway. Taken together, these data identify EBF2 as a regulator of RANK-RANKL signaling and osteoblast-dependent differentiation of osteoclasts.

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