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J Biol Chem. 2009 May 22;284(21):14211-8. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M808345200. Epub 2009 Mar 26.

The orphan nuclear receptor estrogen receptor-related receptor gamma negatively regulates BMP2-induced osteoblast differentiation and bone formation.

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  • 1Dental Science Research Institute and Hormone Research Center, School of Biological Sciences and Technology, Chonnam National University, Gwangju 500-757, Republic of Korea.


Estrogen receptor-related receptor gamma (ERRgamma/ERR3/NR3B3) is a member of the orphan nuclear receptor with important functions in development and homeostasis. Recently it has been reported that ERRalpha is involved in osteoblast differentiation and bone formation. In the present study we examined the role of ERRgamma in osteoblast differentiation. Here, we showed that ERRgamma is expressed in osteoblast progenitors and primary osteoblasts, and its expression is increased temporarily by BMP2. Overexpression of ERRgamma reduced BMP2-induced alkaline phosphatase activity and osteocalcin production as well as calcified nodule formation, whereas inhibition of ERRgamma expression significantly enhanced BMP2-induced osteogenic differentiation and mineralization, suggesting that endogenous ERRgamma plays an important role in osteoblast differentiation. In addition, ERRgamma significantly repressed Runx2 transactivity on osteocalcin and bone sialoprotein promoters. We also observed that ERRgamma physically interacts with Runx2 in vitro and in vivo and competes with p300 to repress Runx2 transactivity. Notably, intramuscular injection of ERRgamma strongly inhibited BMP2-induced ectopic bone formation in a dose-dependent manner. Taken together, these results suggest that ERRgamma is a novel negative regulator of osteoblast differentiation and bone formation via its regulation of Runx2 transactivity.

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