Gang Liu

Mayo Clinic - Rochester, Rochester, Minnesota, United States

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Publications (2)9.11 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Estrogen receptors (ERs) play vital roles in the function and remodeling of bone. Their cellular mechanisms can broadly be categorized into those involving direct DNA binding (classical) or indirect DNA binding (non-classical). The generation of non-classical ER knock-in (ERα(-/NERKI) ) mice provides a unique opportunity to define these pathways in bone. We previously demonstrated that ERα(-/NERKI) mice exhibit an osteoporotic phenotype; however, the mechanism(s) for this remain unresolved. Gene expression analyses of cortical bone from ERα(-/NERKI) mice revealed suppression of lymphoid enhancer factor-1 (Lef1), a classic Wnt-responsive transcription factor that associates with β-catenin. Since Wnt signaling is generally considered bone anabolic, this observation leads to the hypothesis that NERKI-induced suppression of Wnt signaling may contribute to the low bone mass phenotype. We generated ERα(-/NERKI) mice crossed with the Wnt-responsive TOPGAL transgenic mouse model and observed significantly less β-galactosidase activity in ERα(-/NERKI) mice, confirming suppression of Wnt activity in vivo. Adenoviral expression of the NERKI receptor using an in vitro cell system resulted in the induction of several secreted antagonists of Wnt signaling. Furthermore, expression of NERKI abrogated Wnt10b-dependent Wnt activation using a lentiviral-mediated reporter assay. Finally, expression of NERKI destabilized β-catenin cellular protein levels and disrupted ER/β-catenin interactions. Collectively, these data suggest the osteoporotic phenotype of ERα(-/NERKI) mice may involve the suppression of Lef1-mediated Wnt signaling through both the stimulation of secreted Wnt inhibitors and/or disruption of normal β-catenin function.
    Journal of Cellular Biochemistry 07/2012; 113(7):2248-55. · 3.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A complex network of transcription factors contributes to the establishment and maintenance of the osteoblastic phenotype. Although relatively few transcription factors, such as Runx2 and osterix, are essential to the process of osteoblastic differentiation, others serve the purpose of fine-tuning in response to various environmental and hormonal cues. The nuclear receptor (NR) superfamily of transcription factors are involved in numerous aspects of bone biology. In this study, we characterized the expression pattern of the entire NR superfamily in differentiating primary murine calvarial cells in order to identify novel NR regulatory patterns. Dynamic patterns of NR expression were observed throughout the differentiation process. Interestingly, retinoic acid receptor-related orphan receptor β (Rorβ) expression was markedly suppressed at later stages of differentiation. To gain further insight into the function of NRs in bone biology, the NR superfamily was also profiled in mouse bone marrow precursor cells isolated from either young (6-month) or aging, osteoporotic (18-22-month) mice. Of interest, Rorβ was potently overexpressed in the aged cohort. Collectively, these data provided evidence that Rorβ expression is inversely correlated with osteogenic potential, suggesting Rorβ may be an important and unexplored regulator of osteogenesis. To validate this hypothesis, a cell model stably expressing Rorβ in mouse osteoblastic MC3T3-E1 cells was produced (MC3T3-Rorβ). These cells displayed markedly suppressed bone nodule formation as well as reduced osteocalcin and osterix gene expression. Because these genes are Runx2 targets, we reasoned that Rorβ may interfere with Runx2 activity. Consistent with this, transient transfection analysis demonstrated that Rorβ inhibited Runx2-dependent activation of a Runx2-reporter construct. In summary, our data provide a comprehensive profile of NR expression during osteoblast differentiation and identify Rorβ as a novel regulator of osteogenesis and potentially of age-related bone loss through antagonism of Runx2 activity.
    Journal of bone and mineral research: the official journal of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research 12/2011; 27(4):891-901. · 6.04 Impact Factor