Nemo-like kinase (NLK) expression in osteoblastic cells and suppression of osteoblastic differentiation.
ABSTRACT Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) regulate proliferation and differentiation in osteoblasts. The vertebral homologue of nemo, nemo-like kinase (NLK), is an atypical MAPK that targets several signaling components, including the T-cell factor/lymphoid enhancer factor (TCF/Lef1) transcription factor. Recent studies have shown that NLK forms a complex with the histone H3-K9 methyltransferase SETDB1 and suppresses peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-gamma:: action in the mesenchymal cell line ST2. Here we investigated whether NLK regulates osteoblastic differentiation. We showed that NLK mRNA is expressed in vivo in osteoblasts at embryonic day 18.5 (E18.5) mouse calvariae. By using retrovirus vectors, we performed forced expression of NLK in primary calvarial osteoblasts (pOB cells) and the mesenchymal cell line ST2. Wild-type NLK (NLK-WT) suppressed alkaline phosphatase activity and expression of bone marker genes such as alkaline phosphatase, type I procollagen, runx2, osterix, steopontin and osteocalcin in these cells. NLK-WT also decreased type I collagen protein expression in pOB and ST2 cells. Furthermore, mineralized nodule formation was reduced in pOB cells overexpressing NLK-WT. In contrast, kinase-negative form of NLK (NLK-KN) did not suppress or partially suppress ALP activity and bone marker gene expression in pOB and ST2 cells. NLK-KN did not suppress nodule formation in pOB cells. In addition to forced expression, suppression of endogenous NLK expression by siRNA increased bone marker gene expression in pOB and ST2 cells. Finally, transcriptional activity analysis of gene promoters revealed that NLK-WT suppressed Wnt1 activation of TOP flash promoter and Runx2 activation of the osteocalcin promoter. Taken together, these results suggest that NLK negatively regulates osteoblastic differentiation.
- Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 10/2006; 21(9):1331-8. · 6.13 Impact Factor
- Genes & Development - GENE DEVELOP. 01/2004; 18(7):816-829.
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ABSTRACT: The extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)-mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway provides a major link between the cell surface and nucleus to control proliferation and differentiation. However, its in vivo role in skeletal development is unknown. A transgenic approach was used to establish a role for this pathway in bone. MAPK stimulation achieved by selective expression of constitutively active MAPK/ERK1 (MEK-SP) in osteoblasts accelerated in vitro differentiation of calvarial cells, as well as in vivo bone development, whereas dominant-negative MEK1 was inhibitory. The involvement of the RUNX2 transcription factor in this response was established in two ways: (a) RUNX2 phosphorylation and transcriptional activity were elevated in calvarial osteoblasts from TgMek-sp mice and reduced in cells from TgMek-dn mice, and (b) crossing TgMek-sp mice with Runx2+/- animals partially rescued the hypomorphic clavicles and undemineralized calvaria associated with Runx2 haploinsufficiency, whereas TgMek-dn; Runx2+/- mice had a more severe skeletal phenotype. This work establishes an important in vivo function for the ERK-MAPK pathway in bone that involves stimulation of RUNX2 phosphorylation and transcriptional activity.The Journal of Cell Biology 03/2007; 176(5):709-18. · 10.82 Impact Factor