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J Biol Chem. 2012 Feb 3;287(6):3946-62. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M111.252742. Epub 2011 Nov 2.

Loading-related regulation of transcription factor EGR2/Krox-20 in bone cells is ERK1/2 protein-mediated and prostaglandin, Wnt signaling pathway-, and insulin-like growth factor-I axis-dependent.

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Department of Veterinary Basic Sciences, Royal Veterinary College, London, NW1 0TU, United Kingdom.


Of the 1,328 genes revealed by microarray to be differentially regulated by disuse, or at 8 h following a single short period of osteogenic loading of the mouse tibia, analysis by predicting associated transcription factors from annotated affinities revealed the transcription factor EGR2/Krox-20 as being more closely associated with more pathways and functions than any other. Real time quantitative PCR confirmed up-regulation of Egr2 mRNA expression by loading of the tibia in vivo. In vitro studies where strain was applied to primary cultures of mouse tibia-derived osteoblastic cells and the osteoblast UMR106 cell line also showed up-regulation of Egr2 mRNA expression. In UMR106 cells, inhibition of β1/β3 integrin function had no effect on strain-related Egr2 expression, but it was inhibited by a COX2-selective antagonist and imitated by exogenous prostaglandin E2 (PGE2). This response to PGE(2) was mediated chiefly through the EP1 receptor and involved stimulation of PKC and attenuation by cAMP/PKA. Neither activators nor inhibitors of nitric oxide, estrogen signaling, or LiCl had any effect on Egr2 mRNA expression, but it was increased by both insulin-like growth factor-1 and high, but not low, dose parathyroid hormone and exogenous Wnt-3a. The increases by strain, PGE2, Wnt-3a, and phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate were attenuated by inhibition of MEK-1. EGR2 appears to be involved in many of the signaling pathways that constitute early responses of bone cells to strain. These pathways all have multiple functions. Converting their strain-related responses into coherent "instructions" for adaptive (re)modeling is likely to depend upon their contextual activation, suppression, and interaction probably on more than one occasion.

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