[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transcription factor Histone Nuclear Factor P (HiNF-P; gene symbol Hinfp) mediates cell cycle control of histone H4 gene expression to support the packaging of newly replicated DNA as chromatin. The HiNF-P/p220(NPAT) complex controls multiple H4 genes in established human cell lines and is critical for cell proliferation. The mouse Hinfp(LacZ) null allele causes early embryonic lethality due to a blastocyst defect. However, neither Hinfp function nor its temporal expression relative to histone H4 genes during fetal development has been explored. Here, we establish that expression of Hinfp is biologically coupled with expression of twelve functional mouse H4 genes during pre- and post-natal tissue-development. Both Hinfp and H4 genes are robustly expressed at multiple embryonic (E) days (from E5.5 to E15.5), coincident with ubiquitous LacZ staining driven by the Hinfp promoter. Five highly expressed mouse H4 genes (Hist1h4d, Histh4f, Hist1h4m and Hist2h4) account for >90% of total histone H4 mRNA throughout development. Post-natal expression of H4 genes in mice is most evident in lung, spleen, thymus and intestine, and with few exceptions (e.g., adult liver) correlates with Hinfp gene expression. Histone H4 gene expression decreases butHinfp levels remain constitutive upon cell growth inhibition in culture. The in vivo co-expression of Hinfp and histone H4 genes is consistent with the biological function of Hinfp as a principal transcriptional regulator of histone H4 gene expression during mouse development.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Runt-related transcription factor, Runx2, is essential for osteogenesis and is controlled by both distal (P1) and proximal (P2) promoters. To understand Runx2 function requires determination of the spatiotemporal activity of P1 and P2 to Runx2 protein production. We generated a mouse model in which the P1-derived transcript was replaced with a lacZ reporter allele, resulting in loss of P1-derived protein while simultaneously allowing discrimination between the activities of the two promoters. Loss of P1-driven expression causes developmental defects with cleidocranial dysplasia-like syndromes that persist in the postnatal skeleton. P1 activity is robust in preosteogenic mesenchyme and at the onset of bone formation but decreases as bone matures. Homozygous Runx2-P1(lacZ/lacZ) mice have a normal life span but exhibit severe osteopenia and compromised bone repair in adult mice because of osteoblastic defects and not increased osteoclastic resorption. Gene expression profiles of bone, immunohistochemical studies, and ex vivo differentiation using calvarial osteoblasts and marrow stromal cells identified mechanisms for the skeletal phenotype. The findings indicate that P1 promoter activity is necessary for generating a threshold level of Runx2 protein to commit sufficient osteoprogenitor numbers for normal bone formation. P1 promoter function is not compensated via the P2 promoter. However, the P2 transcript with compensatory mechanisms from bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) and Wnt signaling is adequate for mineralization of the bone tissue that does form. We conclude that selective utilization of the P1 and P2 promoters enables the precise spatiotemporal expression of Runx2 necessary for normal skeletogenesis and the maintenance of bone mass in the adult.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 06/2011; 286(34):30057-70. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Vorinostat, an oral histone deacetylase inhibitor with antitumor activity, is in clinical trials for hematologic and solid tumors that metastasize and compromise bone structure. Consequently, there is a requirement to establish the effects of vorinostat on tumor growth within bone. Breast (MDA-231) and prostate (PC3) cancer cells were injected into tibias of SCID/NCr mice and the effects of vorinostat on tumor growth and osteolytic disease were assessed by radiography, micro-computed tomography, and histologic and molecular analyses. Vorinostat-treated and control mice without tumors were also examined. Tumor growth in bone was reduced ∼33% by vorinostat with inhibited osteolysis in the first few weeks of the experiment. However, osteolysis became more severe in both the vehicle and vorinostat-treated groups. Vorinostat increased the expression of tumor-derived factors promoting bone resorption, including PTHrP, IL-8, and osteopontin. After 4 weeks of vorinostat therapy, the non-tumor-bearing contralateral femurs and limbs from vorinostat-treated tumor-free SCID mice showed significant bone loss (50% volume density of controls). Thus, our studies indicate that vorinostat effectively inhibits tumor growth in bone, but has a negative systemic effect reducing normal trabecular bone mass. Vorinostat treatment reduces tumor growth in bone and accompanying osteolytic disease as a result of decreased tumor burden in bone. However, vorinostat can promote osteopenia throughout the skeleton independent of tumor cell activity.
Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 12/2010; 9(12):3210-20. · 5.60 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The incidence of bone metastasis in advanced breast cancer (BrCa) exceeds 70%. Bortezomib, a proteasome inhibitor used for the treatment of multiple myeloma, also promotes bone formation. We tested the hypothesis that proteasome inhibitors can ameliorate BrCa osteolytic disease.
To address the potentially beneficial effect of bortezomib in reducing tumor growth in the skeleton and counteracting bone osteolysis, human MDA-MB-231 BrCa cells were injected into the tibia of mice to model bone tumor growth for in vivo assessment of treatment regimens before and after tumor growth.
Controls exhibited tumor growth, destroying trabecular and cortical bone and invading muscle. Bortezomib treatment initiated following inoculation of tumor cells strikingly reduced tumor growth, restricted tumor cells mainly to the marrow cavity, and almost completely inhibited osteolysis in the bone microenvironment over a 3- to 4-week period as shown by [(18)F]fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography, micro-computed tomography scanning, radiography, and histology. Thus, proteasome inhibition is effective in killing tumor cells within the bone. Pretreatment with bortezomib for 3 weeks before inoculation of tumor cells was also effective in reducing osteolysis. Our in vitro and in vivo studies indicate that mechanisms by which bortezomib inhibits tumor growth and reduces osteolysis result from inhibited cell proliferation, necrosis, and decreased expression of factors that promote BrCa tumor progression in bone.
These findings provide a basis for a novel strategy to treat patients with BrCa osteolytic lesions, and represent an approach for protecting the entire skeleton from metastatic bone disease.
Clinical Cancer Research 10/2010; 16(20):4978-89. · 7.84 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: MicroRNA attenuation of protein translation has emerged as an important regulator of mesenchymal cell differentiation into the osteoblast lineage. A compelling question is the extent to which miR biogenesis is obligatory for bone formation. Here we show conditional deletion of the Dicer enzyme in osteoprogenitors by Col1a1-Cre compromised fetal survival after E14.5. A mechanism was associated with the post-commitment stage of osteoblastogenesis, demonstrated by impaired ECM mineralization and reduced expression of mature osteoblast markers during differentiation of mesenchymal cells of ex vivo deleted Dicer(c/c). In contrast, in vivo excision of Dicer by Osteocalcin-Cre in mature osteoblasts generated a viable mouse with a perinatal phenotype of delayed bone mineralization which was resolved by 1 month. However, a second phenotype of significantly increased bone mass developed by 2 months, which continued up to 8 months in long bones and vertebrae, but not calvariae. Cortical bone width and trabecular thickness in Dicer(Deltaoc/Deltaoc) was twice that of Dicer(c/c) controls. Normal cell and tissue organization was observed. Expression of osteoblast and osteoclast markers demonstrated increased coupled activity of both cell types. We propose that Dicer generated miRs are essential for two periods of bone formation, to promote osteoblast differentiation before birth, and control bone accrual in the adult.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Runx1 is a key hematopoietic transcription factor required for definitive hematopoiesis and is a frequent target of leukemia-related chromosomal translocations. The resulting fusion proteins, while retaining DNA binding activity, display loss of subnuclear targeting and associated transactivation functions encoded by the C-terminus of the protein. To define the precise contribution of the Runx1 C-terminus in development and leukemia, we created a knock-in mouse with a C-terminal truncation by introducing a single nucleic acid substitution in the native Runx1 locus. This mutation (Runx1(Q307X)) models genetic lesions observed in patients with leukemia and myeloproliferative disorders. The Runx1(Q307X) homozygous mouse exhibits embryonic lethality at E12.5 due to central nervous system hemorrhages and a complete lack of hematopoietic stem cell function. While able to bind DNA, Runx1(Q307X) is unable to activate target genes, resulting in deregulation of various hematopoietic markers. Thus, we demonstrate that the subnuclear targeting and transcriptional regulatory activities of the Runx1 C-terminus are critical for hematopoietic development. We propose that compromising the C-terminal functions of Runx1 is a common mechanism for the pathological consequences of a variety of somatic mutations and Runx1-related leukemic fusion proteins observed in human patients.
Human Molecular Genetics 03/2010; 19(6):1048-57. · 7.69 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Runx2, a bone-specific transcriptional regulator, is abnormally expressed in highly metastatic prostate cancer cells. Here, we identified the functional activities of Runx2 in facilitating tumor growth and osteolysis. Our studies show that negligible Runx2 is found in normal prostate epithelial and non-metastatic LNCaP prostate cancer cells. In the intra-tibial metastasis model, high Runx2 levels are associated with development of large tumors, increased expression of metastasis-related genes (MMP9, MMP13, VEGF, Osteopontin) and secreted bone-resorbing factors (PTHrP, IL8) promoting osteolytic disease. Runx2 siRNA treatment of PC3 cells decreased cell migration and invasion through Matrigel in vitro, and in vivo shRunx2 expression in PC3 cells blocked their ability to survive in the bone microenvironment. Mechanisms of Runx2 function were identified in co-culture studies showing that PC3 cells promote osteoclastogenesis and inhibit osteoblast activity. The clinical significance of these findings is supported by human tissue microarray studies of prostate tumors at stages of cancer progression, in which Runx2 is expressed in both adenocarcinomas and metastatic tumors. Together these findings indicate that Runx2 is a key regulator of events associated with prostate cancer metastatic bone disease.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Competency for DNA replication is functionally coupled to the activation of histone gene expression at the onset of S phase to form chromatin. Human histone nuclear factor P (HiNF-P; gene symbol HINFP) bound to its cyclin E/cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (CDK2) responsive coactivator p220(NPAT) is a key regulator of multiple human histone H4 genes that encode a major subunit of the nucleosome. Induction of the histone H4 transcription factor (HINFP)/p220(NPAT) coactivation complex occurs in parallel with the CDK-dependent release of pRB from E2F at the restriction point. Here, we show that the downstream CDK-dependent cell cycle effector HINFP is genetically required and, in contrast to the CDK2/cyclin E complex, cannot be compensated. We constructed a mouse Hinfp-null mutation and found that heterozygous Hinfp mice survive, indicating that 1 allele suffices for embryogenesis. Homozygous loss-of-function causes embryonic lethality: No homozygous Hinfp-null mice are obtained at or beyond embryonic day (E) 6.5. In blastocyst cultures, Hinfp-null embryos exhibit a delay in hatching, abnormal growth, and loss of histone H4 gene expression. Our data indicate that the CDK2/cyclin E/p220(NPAT)/HINFP/histone gene signaling pathway at the G1/S phase transition is an essential, nonredundant cell cycle regulatory mechanism that is established early in embryogenesis.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 08/2009; 106(30):12359-64. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genetic studies have identified a high bone mass of phenotype in both human and mouse when canonical Wnt signaling is increased. Secreted frizzled related protein 1 (sFRP1) is one of several Wnt antagonists and among the loss-of-function mouse models in which 32-week-old mice exhibit a high bone mass phenotype. Here we show that impact fracture healing is enhanced in this mouse model of increased Wnt signaling at a physiologic level in young (8 weeks) sFRP1(-/-) mice which do not yet exhibit significant increases in BMD. In vivo deletion of sFRP1 function improves fracture repair by promoting early bone union without adverse effects on the quality of bone tissue reflected by increased mechanical strength. We observe a dramatic reduction of the cartilage callous, increased intramembranous bone formation with bone bridging by 14 days, and early bone remodeling during the 28-day fracture repair process in the sFRP1(-/-) mice. Our molecular analyses of gene markers indicate that the effect of sFRP1 loss-of-function during fracture repair is to accelerate bone healing after formation of the initial hematoma by directing mesenchymal stem cells into the osteoblast lineage via the canonical pathway. Further evidence to support this conclusion is the observation of maximal sFRP1 levels in the cartilaginous callus of a WT mouse. Hence sFRP1(-/-) mouse progenitor cells are shifted directly into the osteoblast lineage. Thus, developing an antagonist to specifically inhibit sFRP1 represents a safe target for stimulating fracture repair and bone formation in metabolic bone disorders, osteoporosis and aging.
Journal of Cellular Physiology 04/2009; 220(1):174-81. · 4.22 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cleidocranial dysplasia (CCD) in humans is an autosomal-dominant skeletal disease that results from mutations in the bone-specific transcription factor RUNX2 (CBFA1/AML3). However, distinct RUNX2 mutations in CCD do not correlate with the severity of the disease. Here we generated a new mouse model with a hypomorphic Runx2 mutant allele (Runx2(neo7)), in which only part of the transcript is processed to full-length (wild-type) Runx2 mRNA. Homozygous Runx2(neo7/neo7) mice express a reduced level of wild-type Runx2 mRNA (55-70%) and protein. This mouse model allowed us to establish the minimal requirement of functional Runx2 for normal bone development. Runx2(neo7/neo7) mice have grossly normal skeletons with no abnormalities observed in the growth plate, but do exhibit developmental defects in calvaria and clavicles that persist through post-natal growth. Clavicle defects are caused by disrupted endochondral bone formation during embryogenesis. These hypomorphic mice have altered calvarial bone volume, as observed by histology and microCT imaging, and decreased expression of osteoblast marker genes. The bone phenotype of the heterozygous mice, which have 79-84% of wild-type Runx2 mRNA, is normal. These results show there is a critical gene dosage requirement of functional Runx2 for the formation of intramembranous bone tissues during embryogenesis. A decrease to 70% of wild-type Runx2 levels results in the CCD syndrome, whereas levels >79% produce a normal skeleton. Our findings suggest that the range of bone phenotypes in CCD patients is attributable to quantitative reduction in the functional activity of RUNX2.
Human Molecular Genetics 12/2008; 18(3):556-68. · 7.69 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Runx2, required for bone formation, is ectopically expressed in breast cancer cells. To address the mechanism by which Runx2 contributes to the osteolytic disease induced by MDA-MB-231 cells, we investigated the effect of Runx2 on key components of the "vicious cycle" of transforming growth factor beta (TGFbeta)-mediated tumor growth and osteolysis. We find that Runx2 directly up-regulates Indian Hedgehog (IHH) and colocalizes with Gli2, a Hedgehog signaling molecule. These events further activate parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP). Furthermore, Runx2 directly regulates the TGFbeta-induced PTHrP levels. A subnuclear targeting deficient mutant Runx2, which disrupts TGFbeta-induced Runx2-Smad interactions, failed to induce IHH and downstream events. In addition, Runx2 knockdown in MDA-MB-231 inhibited IHH and PTHrP expression in the presence of TGFbeta. In vivo blockade of the Runx2-IHH pathway in MDA-MB-231 cells by Runx2 short hairpin RNA inhibition prevented the osteolytic disease. Thus, our studies define a novel role of Runx2 in up-regulating the vicious cycle of metastatic bone disease, in addition to Runx2 regulation of genes related to progression of tumor metastasis.
Cancer Research 11/2008; 68(19):7795-802. · 8.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Secreted frizzled related protein-1 (sFRP1), an antagonist of Wnt signaling, regulates cell proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis and negatively regulates bone formation. The spatial and temporal pattern of endogenous sFRP1 expression and loss-of-function were examined in the sFRP1-LacZ knock-in mouse (sFRP1-/-) during embryonic development and post-natal growth. beta-gal activity representing sFRP1 expression is robust in brain, skeleton, kidney, eye, spleen, abdomen, heart and somites in early embryos, but sFRP1 gene inactivation in these tissues did not compromise normal embryonic and post-natal development. Kidney histology revealed increased numbers of glomeruli in KO mice, observed after 5 years of breeding. In the skeleton, we show sFRP1 expression is found in relation to the mineralizing front of bone tissue during skeletal development from E15.5 to birth. Trabecular bone volume and bone mineral density in the sFRP1-/- mouse compared to WT was slightly increased during post-natal growth. Calvarial osteoblasts from newborn sFRP1-/- mice exhibited a 20% increase in cell proliferation and differentiation at the early stages of osteoblast maturation. sFRP1 expression was observed in osteoclasts, but this did not affect osteoclast number or activity. These findings have identified functions for sFRP1 in kidney and bone that are not redundant with other sFRPs. In summary, the absence of major organ abnormalities, the enhanced bone formation and a normal life span with no detection of spontaneous tumors suggests that targeting sFRP1 can be used as a therapeutic strategy for increasing bone mass in metabolic bone disorders or promoting fracture healing by modulating Wnt signaling.
Journal of Cellular Physiology 06/2008; 217(1):113-26. · 4.22 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The WW domain-containing oxidoreductase (WWOX) gene encodes a tumor suppressor. We have previously shown that targeted ablation of the Wwox gene in mouse increases the incidence of spontaneous and chemically induced tumors. To investigate WWOX function in vivo, we examined Wwox-deficient (Wwox(-/-)) mice for phenotypical abnormalities. Wwox(-/-) mice are significantly reduced in size, die at the age of 2-3 weeks, and suffer a metabolic disorder that affects the skeleton. Wwox(-/-) mice exhibit a delay in bone formation from a cell autonomous defect in differentiation beginning at the mineralization stage shown in calvarial osteoblasts ex vivo and supported by significantly decreased bone formation parameters in Wwox(-/-) mice by microcomputed tomography analyses. Wwox(-/-) mice develop metabolic bone disease, as a consequence of reduced serum calcium, hypoproteinuria, and hypoglycemia leading to increased osteoclast activity and bone resorption. Interestingly, we find WWOX physically associates with RUNX2, the principal transcriptional regulator of osteoblast differentiation, and on osteocalcin chromatin. We show WWOX functionally suppresses RUNX2 transactivation ability in osteoblasts. In breast cancer MDA-MB-242 cells that lack endogenous WWOX protein, restoration of WWOX expression inhibited Runx2 and RUNX2 target genes related to metastasis. Affymetrix mRNA profiling revealed common gene targets in multiple tissues. In Wwox(-/-) mice, genes related to nucleosome assembly and cell growth genes were down-regulated, and negative regulators of skeletal metabolism exhibited increased expression. Our results demonstrate an essential requirement for the WWOX tumor suppressor in postnatal survival, growth, and metabolism and suggest a central role for WWOX in regulation of bone tissue formation.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 06/2008; 283(31):21629-39. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The WW domain-containing oxidoreductase (WWOX) spans the second most common fragile site of the human genome, FRA16D, located at 16q23, and its expression is altered in several types of human cancer. We have previously shown that restoration of WWOX expression in cancer cells suppresses tumorigenicity. To investigate WWOX tumor suppressor function in vivo, we generated mice carrying a targeted deletion of the Wwox gene and monitored incidence of tumor formation. Osteosarcomas in juvenile Wwox(-/-) and lung papillary carcinoma in adult Wwox(+/-) mice occurred spontaneously. In addition, Wwox(+/-) mice develop significantly more ethyl nitrosourea-induced lung tumors and lymphomas in comparison to wild-type littermate mice. Intriguingly, these tumors still express Wwox protein, suggesting haploinsuffiency of WWOX itself is cancer predisposing. These results indicate that WWOX is a bona fide tumor suppressor.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 04/2007; 104(10):3949-54. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Canonical Wnt signaling (beta-catenin/TCF) has emerged as a key regulator of skeletogenesis. In this study, chondrogenesis is examined in a mouse model in which the Wnt antagonist secreted frizzled related protein 1 (sFRP1) is non-functional and results in a high bone mass phenotype and activation through the canonical pathway of the Runx2 transcription factor that is essential for bone formation. We find during the period of rapid post-natal growth, shortened height of the growth plate and increased calcification of the hypertrophic zone (HZ) in the sFRP1-/- mouse, indicating accelerated endochondral ossification. Using mouse embryo fibroblasts (MEFs) induced into the chondrogenic lineage, increased chondrogenesis and accelerating differentiation of hypertrophic chondrocytes in the sFRP1-/- MEFs was observed compared to WT cells. The induced maturation of hypertrophic chondrocytes in sFRP1(-/-) MEFs was inversely correlated to phospho-beta-catenin levels, indicating involvement of activated canonical Wnt signaling characterized by an increased expression of collagen type 2a1 and Sox 9. However, an absence of Indian hedgehog expression which occurs in WT cells was found. SFRP1-/- cells also exhibited an early induction of collagen type 10a1. Thus, these modifications in gene expression are contributing mechanism(s) for increased chondrocyte differentiation in SFRP1-/- cells. These studies have identified sFRP1 as a critical negative regulator of Wnt signaling for the normal progression of chondrocyte differentiation. Microarray gene profiling provided additional novel insights into the regulatory factors for appropriate Wnt signaling necessary for the control of chondrocyte maturation.
Journal of Cellular Physiology 08/2006; 208(1):87-96. · 4.22 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The osteoclast is a highly polarized multinucleated cell that resorbs bone. Using high resolution immunofluorescence microscopy, we demonstrated that all nuclei of an osteoclast are transcriptionally active. Each nucleus within the osteoclast contains punctately organized microenvironments where regulatory complexes that support transcriptional and post-transcriptional control reside. Functional equivalency of osteoclast nuclei is reflected by similar representation of regulatory proteins that support ribosomal RNA synthesis (nucleolin), mRNA transcription (RNA polymerase II, bromouridine triphosphate), processing of gene transcripts (SC35), signal transduction (NF-kappaB), and phenotypic gene expression (Runx1). Our results establish that gene regulatory machinery is architecturally associated and compartmentalized within intranuclear microenvironments of the multiple nuclei of osteoclasts to support physiologically responsive modifications in cellular structural and functional properties.
Journal of Cellular Physiology 10/2005; 204(3):871-80. · 4.22 Impact Factor