[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Prostate cancer (PCa) metastasis to bone is lethal and there is no adequate animal model to study the mechanisms underlying the metastatic process. Here we report that receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL) expressed by PCa cells consistently induced colonization or metastasis to bone in animal models. RANK-mediated signaling established a premetastatic niche through a feed forward loop, involving the induction of RANKL and c-Met, but repression of androgen receptor (AR) expression and AR signaling pathways. Site-directed mutagenesis and transcription factor deletion/interference assays identified common transcription factor complexes (TFs), c-Myc/Max and AP4, as critical regulatory nodes. RANKL-RANK signaling activated a number of master regulator TFs that control the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) (Twist1, Slug, Zeb1, Zeb2), stem cell properties (Sox2, Myc, Oct3/4 and Nanog), neuroendocrine differentiation (Sox 9, HIF-1α and FoxA2) and osteomimicry (c-Myc/Max, Sox2, Sox9, HIF1α and Runx2). Abrogating RANK or its downstream c-Myc/Max or c-Met signaling network, minimized or abolished skeletal metastasis in mice. RANKL-expressing LNCaP cells recruited and induced neighboring non-tumorigenic LNCaP cells to express RANKL, c-Met/activated c-Met, while downregulating AR expression. These initially non-tumorigenic cells, once retrieved from the tumors, acquired the potential to colonize and grow in bone. These findings identify a novel mechanism of tumor growth in bone that involves tumor cell reprogramming via RANK-RANKL signaling, as well as a form of signal amplification that mediates recruitment and stable transformation of non-metastatic cells.
Endocrine Related Cancer 01/2014; · 5.26 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Osteosarcoma is among the most frequently occurring primary bone tumors, primarily affecting adolescents and young adults. Despite improvements in osteosarcoma treatment, more specific molecular targets are needed as potential therapeutic options. One target of interest is alpha-Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (α-CaMKII), a ubiquitous mediator of Ca2+-linked signaling, which has been shown to regulate tumor cell proliferation and differentiation. Here, we investigate the role of α-CaMKII in the growth and tumorigenicity of human osteosarcoma. We show that α-CaMKII is highly expressed in primary osteosarcoma tissue derived from 114 patients and is expressed in varying levels in different human osteosarcoma cell lines (HOS, MG-63, MNNG/HOS and 143B). To examine whether α-CaMKII regulates osteosarcoma tumorigenic properties, we genetically inhibited α-CaMKII in two osteosarcoma cell lines using two different α-CaMKII shRNAs delivered by lentiviral vectors and overexpressed α-CaMKII by retrovirus. The genetic deletion of α-CaMKII by shRNA in MG-63 and 143B cells resulted in decreased proliferation (50 and 41%), migration (22 and 25%) and invasion (95 and 90%), respectively. The overexpression of α-CaMKII in HOS cells resulted in increased proliferation (240%), migration (640%) and invasion (10,000%). Furthermore, α-CaMKII deletion in MG-63 cells significantly reduced tumor burden in vivo (65%), while α-CaMKII overexpression resulted in tumor formation in a previously non-tumor forming osteosarcoma cell line (HOS). Our results suggest that α-CaMKII plays a critical role in determining the aggressive phenotype of osteosarcoma, and its inhibition could be an attractive therapeutic target to combat this devastating adolescent disease.
Molecular Cancer Research 01/2013; · 4.35 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bone metastasis is the most lethal form of several cancers. The β2-microglobulin (β2-M)/hemochromatosis (HFE) complex plays an important role in cancer development and bone metastasis. We demonstrated previously that overexpression of β2-M in prostate, breast, lung and renal cancer leads to increased bone metastasis in mouse models. Therefore, we hypothesized that β2-M is a rational target to treat prostate cancer bone metastasis.
In this study, we demonstrate the role of β2-M and its binding partner, HFE, in modulating radiation sensitivity and chemo-sensitivity of prostate cancer. By genetic deletion of β2-M or HFE or using an anti-β2-M antibody (Ab), we demonstrate that prostate cancer cells are sensitive to radiation in vitro and in vivo. Inhibition of β2-M or HFE sensitized prostate cancer cells to radiation by increasing iron and reactive oxygen species and decreasing DNA repair and stress response proteins. Using xenograft mouse model, we demonstrate that anti-β2-M Ab sensitizes prostate cancer cells to radiation treatment. Additionally, anti-β2-M Ab was able to prevent tumor growth in an immunocompetent spontaneous prostate cancer mouse model. Since bone metastasis is lethal, we used a bone xenograft model to test the ability of anti-β2-M Ab and radiation to block tumor growth in the bone. Combination treatment significantly prevented tumor growth in the bone xenograft model by inhibiting β2-M and inducing iron overload. In addition to radiation sensitive effects, inhibition of β2-M sensitized prostate cancer cells to chemotherapeutic agents.
Since prostate cancer bone metastatic patients have high β2-M in the tumor tissue and in the secreted form, targeting β2-M with anti-β2-M Ab is a promising therapeutic agent. Additionally, inhibition of β2-M sensitizes cancer cells to clinically used therapies such as radiation by inducing iron overload and decreasing DNA repair enzymes.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(7):e68366. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Osteoblasts support hematopoietic cell development, including B lymphopoiesis. We have previously shown that the nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) negatively regulates osteoblast differentiation and bone formation. Interestingly, in smooth muscle, NFAT has been shown to regulate the expression of vascular cellular adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), a mediator of cell adhesion and signaling during leukocyte development. To examine whether NFAT signaling in osteoblasts regulates hematopoietic development in vivo, we generated a mouse model expressing dominant-negative NFAT driven by the 2.3 kb fragment of the collagen-αI promoter to disrupt NFAT activity in osteoblasts (dnNFAT(OB)). Bone histomorphometry showed that dnNFAT(OB) mice have significant increases in bone volume (44%) and mineral apposition rate (131%) and decreased trabecular thickness (18%). In the bone microenvironment, dnNFAT(OB) mice displayed a significant increase (87%) in Lineage(-)cKit(+)Sca-1(+) (LSK) cells and significant decreases in B220(+)CD19(-)IgM(-) pre-pro-B cells (41%) and B220(+)CD19(+)IgM(+) immature B cells (40%). Concurrent with these findings, LSK cell differentiation into B220(+) cells was inhibited when cocultured on differentiated primary osteoblasts harvested from dnNFAT(OB) mice. Gene expression and protein levels of VCAM-1 in osteoblasts decreased in dnNFAT(OB) mice compared to controls. These data suggest that osteoblast-specific NFAT activity mediates early B lymphopoiesis, possibly by regulating VCAM-1 expression on osteoblasts.
Clinical and Developmental Immunology 01/2013; 2013:107321. · 3.06 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plays important roles in neuronal differentiation/survival, the regulation of food intake, and the pathobiology of obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus. BDNF and its receptor are expressed in osteoblasts and chondrocyte. BDNF in vitro has a positive effect on bone; whether central BDNF affects bone mass in vivo is not known. We therefore examined bone mass and energy use in brain-targeted BDNF conditional knockout mice (Bdnf(2lox/2lox)/93). The deletion of BDNF in the brain led to a metabolic phenotype characterized by hyperphagia, obesity, and increased abdominal white adipose tissue. Central BDNF deletion produces a marked skeletal phenotype characterized by increased femur length, elevated whole bone mineral density, and bone mineral content. The skeletal changes are developmentally regulated and appear concurrently with the metabolic phenotype, suggesting that the metabolic and skeletal actions of BDNF are linked. The increased bone development is evident in both the cortical and trabecular regions. Compared with control, Bdnf(2lox/2lox)/93 mice show greater trabecular bone volume (+50% for distal femur, P < 0.001; +35% for vertebral body, P < 0.001) and midfemoral cortical thickness (+11 to 17%, P < 0.05), measured at 3 and 6 months of age. The skeletal and metabolic phenotypes were gender dependent, with female being more affected than male mice. However, uncoupling protein-1 expression in brown fat, a marker of sympathetic tone, was not different between genotypes. We show that deletion of central BDNF expression in mice results in increased bone mass and white adipose tissue, with no significant changes in sympathetic signaling or peripheral serotonin, associated with hyperphagia, obesity, and leptin resistance.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) is a critical regulator of bone development and remodeling. TGF-β must be activated from its latent form in order to signal. Thrombospondin-1 (TSP1) is a major regulator of latent TGF-β activation and TSP1 control of TGF-β activation is critical for regulation of TGF-β activity in multiple diseases. Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have osteogenic potential and they participate in bone remodeling in injury and in response to tumor metastasis. Since both TSP1 and TGF-β inhibit osteoblast differentiation, we asked whether TSP1 blocks osteoblast differentiation of MSCs through its ability to stimulate TGF-β activation. TSP1 added to human bone marrow-derived MSCs under growth conditions increases active TGF-β. Cultured MSCs express TSP1 and both TSP1 expression and TGF-β activity decrease during osteoblast differentiation. TSP1 and active TGF-β block osteoblast differentiation of MSCs grown in osteogenic media as measured by decreased Runx2 and alkaline phosphatase expression. The inhibitory effect of TSP1 on osteoblast differentiation is due to its ability to activate latent TGF-β, since a peptide which blocks TSP1 TGF-β activation reduced TGF-β activity and restored osteoblast differentiation as measured by increased Runx2 and alkaline phosphatase expression. Anti-TGF-β neutralizing antibody also increased alkaline phosphatase expression in the presence of TSP1. These studies show that TSP1 regulated TGF-β activity is a critical determinant of osteoblast differentiation.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 05/2012; 422(3):488-93. · 2.41 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Our aim was to compare the usefulness of fatty acid synthase (FASn) with that of α-methylacyl coenzyme-A racemase (AMACR) in the diagnosis of prostatic adenocarcinoma. The expression of these 2 markers was compared in a tissue microarray containing 62 foci of benign glands and 36 foci of prostatic adenocarcinoma. Similar to AMACR, there was significantly higher FASn expression in adenocarcinoma compared with that in benign glands. The optimal accuracy rate and area under curve (AUC) by receiver operating characteristic analysis for FASn were not significantly different from those for AMACR (accuracy, 80% vs 87%; AUC, 0.942 vs 0.956; P for both, > .05). Moreover, in cases with coexistent malignant and benign glands on the same core, FASn could selectively distinguish a proportion of cases (17/21 [81%]) similar to using AMACR. We conclude that FASn may aid in the diagnosis of prostatic adenocarcinoma, at least to supplement AMACR as another positive marker of carcinoma and potentially increase diagnostic accuracy.
American Journal of Clinical Pathology 08/2011; 136(2):239-46. · 2.88 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bone metastasis is one of the predominant causes of cancer lethality. This study demonstrates for the first time how β2-microglobulin (β2-M) supports lethal metastasis in vivo in human prostate, breast, lung, and renal cancer cells. β2-M mediates this process by activating epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) to promote lethal bone and soft tissue metastases in host mice. β2-M interacts with its receptor, hemochromatosis (HFE) protein, to modulate iron responsive pathways in cancer cells. Inhibition of either β2-M or HFE results in reversion of EMT. These results demonstrate the role of β2-M in cancer metastasis and lethality. Thus, β2-M and its downstream signaling pathways are promising prognostic markers of cancer metastases and novel therapeutic targets for cancer therapy.
Cancer Research 03/2011; 71(7):2600-10. · 8.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Prostate tumor cells frequently show the features of osteoblasts, which are differentiated from bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells. We examined human prostate cancer cell lines and clinical prostate cancer specimens for additional bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell properties.
Prostate cancer cell lines were induced for osteoblastogenic and adipogenic differentiation, detected by standard staining methods and confirmed by lineage-specific marker expression. Abnormal expression of the markers was then assessed in clinical prostate cancer specimens.
After osteoblastogenic induction, cells of the LNCaP lineage, PC-3 lineage, and DU145 displayed osteoblastic features. Upon adipogenic induction, PC-3 lineage and DU145 cells differentiated into adipocyte-like cells. The adipocyte-like cancer cells expressed brown adipocyte-specific markers, suggesting differentiation along the brown adipocyte lineage. The adipogenic differentiation was accompanied by growth inhibition, and most of the adipocyte-like cancer cells were committed to apoptotic death. During cyclic treatments with adipogenic differentiation medium and then with control medium, the cancer cells could commit to repeated adipogenic differentiation and retrodifferentiation. In clinical prostate cancer specimens, the expression of uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1), a brown fat-specific marker, was enhanced with the level of expression correlated to disease progression from primary to bone metastatic cancers.
This study thus revealed that prostate cancer cells harbor the stem cell properties of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells. The abnormally expressed adipogenic UCP1 protein may serve as a unique marker, while adipogenic induction can be explored as a differentiation therapy for prostate cancer progression and bone metastasis.
Clinical Cancer Research 02/2011; 17(8):2159-69. · 7.84 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: LIV-1, a zinc transporter, is an effector molecule downstream from soluble growth factors. This protein has been shown to promote epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in human pancreatic, breast, and prostate cancer cells. Despite the implication of LIV-1 in cancer growth and metastasis, there has been no study to determine the role of LIV-1 in prostate cancer progression. Moreover, there was no clear delineation of the molecular mechanism underlying LIV-1 function in cancer cells. In the present communication, we found increased LIV-1 expression in benign, PIN, primary and bone metastatic human prostate cancer. We characterized the mechanism by which LIV-1 drives human prostate cancer EMT in an androgen-refractory prostate cancer cells (ARCaP) prostate cancer bone metastasis model. LIV-1, when overexpressed in ARCaP(E) (derivative cells of ARCaP with epithelial phenotype) cells, promoted EMT irreversibly. LIV-1 overexpressed ARCaP(E) cells had elevated levels of HB-EGF and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) 2 and MMP 9 proteolytic enzyme activities, without affecting intracellular zinc concentration. The activation of MMPs resulted in the shedding of heparin binding-epidermal growth factor (HB-EGF) from ARCaP(E) cells that elicited constitutive epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) phosphorylation and its downstream extracellular signal regulated kinase (ERK) signaling. These results suggest that LIV-1 is involved in prostate cancer progression as an intracellular target of growth factor receptor signaling which promoted EMT and cancer metastasis. LIV-1 could be an attractive therapeutic target for the eradication of pre-existing human prostate cancer and bone and soft tissue metastases.
PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(11):e27720. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The bone loss induced by ovariectomy (ovx) has been linked to increased production of osteoclastogenic cytokines by bone marrow cells, including T cells and stromal cells (SCs). It is presently unknown whether regulatory interactions between these lineages contribute to the effects of ovx in bone, however. Here, we show that the T-cell costimulatory molecule CD40 ligand (CD40L) is required for ovx to expand SCs; promote osteoblast proliferation and differentiation; regulate the SC production of the osteoclastogenic factors macrophage colony-stimulating factor, receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand, and osteoprotegerin; and up-regulate osteoclast formation. CD40L is also required for ovx to activate T cells and stimulate their production of TNF. Accordingly, ovx fails to promote bone loss and increase bone resorption in mice depleted of T cells or lacking CD40L. Therefore, cross-talk between T cells and SCs mediated by CD40L plays a pivotal role in the disregulation of osteoblastogenesis and osteoclastogenesis induced by ovx.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 01/2011; 108(2):768-73. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Reactive oxygen species increases in various diseases including cancer and has been associated with induction of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), as evidenced by decrease in cell adhesion-associated molecules like E-cadherin, and increase in mesenchymal markers like vimentin. We investigated the molecular mechanisms by which Snail transcription factor, an inducer of EMT, promotes tumor aggressiveness utilizing ARCaP prostate cancer cell line. An EMT model created by Snail overexpression in ARCaP cells was associated with decreased E-cadherin and increased vimentin. Moreover, Snail-expressing cells displayed increased concentration of reactive oxygen species (ROS), specifically, superoxide and hydrogen peroxide, in vitro and in vivo. Real Time PCR profiling demonstrated increased expression of oxidative stress-responsive genes, such as aldehyde oxidase I, in response to Snail. The ROS scavenger, N-acetyl cysteine partially reversed Snail-mediated EMT after 7 days characterized by increased E-cadherin levels and decreased ERK activity, while treatment with the MEK inhibitor, UO126, resulted in a more marked effect by 3 days, characterized by cells returning back to the epithelial morphology and increased E-cadherin. In conclusion, this study shows for the first time that Snail transcription factor can regulate oxidative stress enzymes and increase ROS-mediated EMT regulated in part by ERK activation. Therefore, Snail may be an attractive molecule for therapeutic targeting to prevent tumor progression in human prostate cancer.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 01/2011; 404(1):34-9. · 2.41 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Osteoporosis and bone fractures are increasingly recognized complications of HIV-1 infection. Although antiretroviral therapy itself has complex effects on bone turnover, it is now evident that the majority of HIV-infected individuals already exhibit reduced bone mineral density before therapy. The mechanisms responsible are likely multifactorial and have been difficult to delineate in humans. The HIV-1 transgenic rat recapitulates many key features of human AIDS. We now demonstrate that, like their human counterparts, HIV-1 transgenic rats undergo severe osteoclastic bone resorption, a consequence of an imbalance in the ratio of receptor activator of NF-kappaB ligand, the key osteoclastogenic cytokine, to that of its physiological decoy receptor osteoprotegerin. This imbalance stemmed from a switch in production of osteoprotegerin to that of receptor activator of NF-kappaB ligand by B cells, and was further compounded by a significantly elevated number of osteoclast precursors. With the advancing age of individuals living with HIV/AIDS, low bone mineral density associated with HIV infection is likely to collide with the pathophysiology of skeletal aging, leading to increased fracture risk. Understanding the mechanisms driving bone loss in HIV-infected individuals will be critical to developing effective therapeutic strategies.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 08/2010; 107(31):13848-53. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mice lacking HIP/RPL29, a component of the ribosomal machinery, display increased bone fragility. To understand the effect of sub-efficient protein synthetic rates on mineralized tissue quality, we performed dynamic and static histomorphometry and examined the mineral properties of both bones and teeth in HIP/RPL29 knock-out mice using Fourier transform infrared imaging (FTIRI). While loss of HIP/RPL29 consistently reduced total bone size, decreased mineral apposition rates were not significant, indicating that short stature is not primarily due to impaired osteoblast function. Interestingly, our microspectroscopic studies showed that a significant decrease in collagen crosslinking during maturation of HIP/RPL29-null bone precedes an overall enhancement in the relative extent of mineralization of both trabecular and cortical adult bones. This report provides strong genetic evidence that ribosomal insufficiency induces subtle organic matrix deficiencies which elevates calcification. Consistent with the HIP/RPL29-null bone phenotype, HIP/RPL29-deficient teeth also showed reduced geometric properties accompanied with relative increased mineral densities of both dentin and enamel. Increased mineralization associated with enhanced tissue fragility related to imperfection in organic phase microstructure evokes defects seen in matrix protein-related bone and tooth diseases. Thus, HIP/RPL29 mice constitute a new genetic model for studying the contribution of global protein synthesis in the establishment of organic and inorganic phases in mineral tissues.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ex vivo gene transfer for spinal fusion.
This study aimed to evaluate ex vivo transfer of the nuclear-localized Hoxc-8-interacting domain of Smad1 (termed Smad1C) to rabbit bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) by a tropism-modified human adenovirus serotype 5 (Ad5) vector as a novel therapeutic approach for spinal fusion.
Novel approaches are needed to improve the success of bone union after spinal fusion. One such approach is the ex vivo transfer of a gene encoding an osteoinductive factor to BMSCs which are subsequently reimplanted into the host. We have previously shown that heterologous expression of the Hoxc-8-interacting domain of Smad1 in the nuclei of osteoblast precursor cells is able to stimulate the expression of genes related to osteoblast differentiation and induce osteogenesis in vivo. Gene delivery vehicles based on human Ad5 are well suited for gene transfer for spinal fusion because they can mediate high-level, short-term gene expression. However, Ad5-based vectors with native tropism poorly transduce BMSCs, necessitating the use of vectors with modified tropism to achieve efficient gene transfer.
The gene encoding Smad1C was transferred to rabbit BMSCs by an Ad5 vector with native tropism or a vector retargeted to alphav integrins, which are abundantly expressed on rabbit BMSCs. Transduced BMSCs were maintained in osteoblastic differentiation medium for 30 days. Alkaline phosphatase activity was determined and cells stained for calcium deposition. As positive controls for osteogenesis, we used Ad5 vectors expressing bone morphogenetic protein 2. As negative controls, BMSCs were mock-transduced or transduced with an Ad5 vector expressing beta-galactosidase. In an immunocompetent rabbit model of spinal fusion, transduced BMSCs were coated onto absorbable gelatin sponge and implanted between decorticated transverse processes L6 and L7 of 8-week-old female New Zealand white rabbits. Animals were killed 4 weeks after implantation of the sponges, the fusion masses harvested and the area of new bone quantified using image analysis software.
The Smad1C-expressing tropism-modified Ad5 vector mediated a significantly higher level of alkaline phosphatase activity and calcium deposition in transduced rabbit BMSCs than all other vectors. The rabbit BMSCs transduced ex vivo with the Smad1C-expressing tropism-modified Ad5 vector mediated a greater amount of new bone formation than BMSCs transduced with any other vector.
Delivery of the Smad1C gene construct to BMSCs by an alphav integrin-targeted Ad5 vector shows promise for spinal fusion and other applications requiring the formation of new bone in vivo.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Intermittent administration of parathyroid hormone (iPTH) is used to treat osteoporosis because it improves bone architecture and strength, but the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms are unclear. Here, we show that iPTH increases the production of Wnt10b by bone marrow CD8+ T cells and induces these lymphocytes to activate canonical Wnt signaling in preosteoblasts. Accordingly, in responses to iPTH, T cell null mice display diminished Wnt signaling in preosteoblasts and blunted osteoblastic commitment, proliferation, differentiation, and life span, which result in decreased trabecular bone anabolism and no increase in strength. Demonstrating the specific role of lymphocytic Wnt10b, iPTH has no anabolic activity in mice lacking T-cell-produced Wnt10b. Therefore, T-cell-mediated activation of Wnt signaling in osteoblastic cells plays a key permissive role in the mechanism by which iPTH increases bone strength, suggesting that T cell osteoblast crosstalk pathways may provide pharmacological targets for bone anabolism.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We previously reported that the in vivo and in vitro suppression of Nuclear Factor of Activated T Cells (NFAT) signaling increases osteoblast differentiation and bone formation. To investigate the mechanism by which NFATc1 regulates osteoblast differentiation, we established an osteoblast cell line that overexpresses a constitutively active NFATc1 (ca-NFATc1). The activation of NFATc1 significantly inhibits osteoblast differentiation and function, demonstrated by inhibition of alkaline phosphatase activity and mineralization as well as a decrease in gene expression of early and late markers of osteoblast differentiation such as osterix and osteocalcin, respectively. By focusing on the specific role of NFATc1 during late differentiation, we discovered that the inhibition of osteocalcin gene expression by NFATc1 was associated with a repression of the osteocalcin promoter activity, and a decrease in TCF/LEF transactivation. Also, overexpression of NFATc1 completely blocked the decrease in total histone deacetylase (HDAC) activity during osteoblast differentiation and prevented the hyperacetylation of histones H3 and H4. Mechanistically, we show by Chromatin Immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay that the overexpression of NFATc1 sustains the binding of HDAC3 on the proximal region of the osteocalcin promoter, resulting in complete hypoacetylation of histones H3 and H4 when compared to GFP-expressing osteoblasts. In contrast, the inhibition of NFATc1 nuclear translocation either by cyclosporin or by using primary mouse osteoblasts with deleted calcineurin b1 prevents HDAC3 from associating with the proximal regulatory site of the osteocalcin promoter. These preliminary results suggest that NFATc1 acts as a transcriptional co-repressor of osteocalcin promoter, possibly in an HDAC-dependent manner.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rett syndrome (RTT), a neurological disorder characterized by neurological impairment and a high frequency of osteopenia which often manifests early in childhood, most often is caused by inactivating mutations in the X-linked gene encoding a regulator of epigenetic gene expression, methyl CpG binding protein, MeCP2. Clinical data show that, along with neurological defects, females with RTT frequently have marked decreases in bone mineral density (BMD) beyond that expected from disuse atrophy. To investigate the relationship between loss of Mecp2 and reduced BMD, we used a Mecp2 null mouse model, Mecp2 (-/yBIRD), for our histological and biochemical studies. Mecp2 (-/yBIRD) mice have significantly shorter femurs and an overall reduced skeletal size compared to wild-type mice by post-natal day 60 (P60). Histological and histomorphometric studies identified growth plate abnormalities as well as decreased cortical and trabecular bone in P21 and especially in P60 Mecp2 (-/yBIRD) mice. Dynamic histomorphometry revealed decreased mineral apposition rates (MAR) in Mecp2 null femoral trabecular bone as well as in calvarial bone samples. While changes in MAR of cortical bone were not significant, loss of Mecp2 significantly reduced cortical, trabecular and calvarial bone volume compared with age-matched wild-type animals. These differences indicate that Mecp2 deficiency leads to osteoblast dysfunction, which translates into reduced osteoid deposition accounting for the reduced bone volume phenotype. While individual variations were observed in OPG and Rankl concentrations, molar ratios of OPG:Rankl at P21 and P60 were comparable between wild-type and Mecp2 (-/yBIRD) mice and showed a consistent excess of OPG. In tibial sections, TRAP staining demonstrated equivalent osteoclast number per bone surface measurements between wild-type and null animals. Our work with a Mecp2 null mouse model suggests epigenetic regulation of bone in the Mecp2 (-/yBIRD) mice which is associated with decreased osteoblast activity rather than increased osteoclastic bone loss.