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Endocrinology. 2007 Dec;148(12):5966-76. Epub 2007 Aug 30.

Regulation of fibroblast growth factor receptor-1 (FGFR1) by thyroid hormone: identification of a thyroid hormone response element in the murine Fgfr1 promoter.

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  • 1Gene Regulation Section, Laboratory of Molecular Biology, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892-4264, USA.


T(3) is essential for normal skeletal development, acting mainly via the TRalpha1 nuclear receptor. Nevertheless, the mechanisms of T(3) action in bone are poorly defined. Fibroblast growth factor receptor-1 (FGFR1) is also essential for bone formation. Fgfr1 expression and activity are positively regulated by T(3) in osteoblasts, and in mice that harbor a dominant negative PV mutation targeted to TRalpha1 or TRbeta, Fgfr1 expression is sensitive to skeletal thyroid status. To investigate mechanisms underlying T(3) regulation of FGFR1, we obtained primary calvarial osteoblasts from wild-type and TRbeta(PV/PV) littermate mice. T(3) treatment increased Fgfr1 expression 2-fold in wild-type cells, but 8-fold in TRbeta(PV/PV) osteoblasts. The 4-fold increased T(3) sensitivity of TRbeta(PV/PV) osteoblasts was associated with a markedly increased ratio of TRalpha1:TRbeta1 expression that resulted from reduced TRbeta1 expression in TRbeta(PV/PV) osteoblasts compared with wild-type. Bioinformatics and gel shift studies, and mutational analysis, identified a specific TR binding site 279-264 nucleotides upstream of the murine Fgfr1 promoter transcription start site. Transient transfection analysis of a series of Fgfr1 promoter 5'-deletion constructs, of a mutant reporter construct, and a series of heterologous promoter constructs, confirmed that this region of the promoter mediates a TR-dependent transcriptional response to T(3). Thus, in addition to indirect regulation of FGFR1 expression by T(3) reported previously, T(3) also activates the Fgfr1 promoter directly via a thyroid hormone response element located at positions -279/-264.

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