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Endocrinology. 1994 Mar;134(3):1061-6.

1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 transcriptionally activates the beta 3-integrin subunit gene in avian osteoclast precursors.

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Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Jewish Hospital at Washington University Medical Center, St. Louis, Missouri 63110.


Osteoclasts are polykaryons and the principal, if not exclusive, resorptive cell of bone. They are members of the monocyte/macrophage family whose precursors differentiate under the influence of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1,25-(OH)2D3]. Bone resorption is dependent on osteoclast-bone attachment, and we have shown that the integrin alpha v beta 3 is critical to the resorptive process. Thus, we asked whether 1,25-(OH)2D3 enhances the expression of alpha v beta 3 on the surface of osteoclast precursors and if the steroid modulates expression of the beta 3-integrin subunit. We found that 1,25-(OH)2D3 promotes the plasma membrane appearance of alpha v beta 3 on avian bone marrow-derived osteoclast precursors and does so at physiological concentrations (10(-11) M) of the steroid. The effect is time dependent, appearing within 1 day of treatment. A full-length avian cDNA was cloned to explore the molecular mechanisms of beta 3 expression. The deduced amino acid sequence of the cDNA is 81% identical and 89% similar to that of human beta 3. Northern analysis demonstrates that beta 3 mRNA levels in vitamin D-treated osteoclast precursors mirror protein expression. Nuclear run-on experiments document the transcriptional nature of the event.

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