Transcriptional Mechanisms of Bone Morphogenetic Protein-induced Osteoprotegrin Gene Expression

Mei Wan, Xingming Shi, Xu Feng, Xu Cao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


Osteoprotegerin (OPG), an osteoblast-secreted decoy receptor, specifically binds to osteoclast differentiation factor and inhibits osteoclast maturation. Members of the transforming growth factor-β superfamily including bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) stimulate OPG mRNA expression. In this study, we have characterized the transcription mechanism of BMP-induced OPG gene expression. Transfection of Smad1 and a constitutively active BMP type IA receptor ALK3 (Q233) stimulated the OPG promoter. Deletion analysis of the OPG promoter identified two Hoxc-8 binding sites that respond to BMP stimulation. Glutathione S-transferase-Hoxc-8 protein binds to these two Hox sites specifically. Consistent with the transfection results of the native promoter, ALK3 or Smad1 linker region, which interacts with Hoxc-8, stimulated the activation of the reporter construct with the two Hox sites. Overexpression of Hoxc-8 inhibited the induced promoter activity. When the two Hox binding sites were mutated, ALK3 or Smad1 linker region no longer activated the transcription. Importantly, Smad1 linker region induced both OPG promoter activity and endogenous OPG protein expression in 2T3 osteoblastic cells. The medium from cells transfected with Smad1 linker region expression plasmid effectively inhibited osteoclastogenesis. Collectively, our data indicate that Hox sites mediate both OPG promoter construct activity and endogenous OPG gene expression in response to BMP stimulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10119-10125
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number13
StatePublished - Mar 30 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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