Osterix inhibits bone destruction in osteosarcoma through transcriptional repression of Interleukin-1alpha expression

Ying Cao, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


Osteosarcoma, a malignant bone tumor, rapidly destroys the cortical bone. We demonstrated that mouse K7M2 osteosarcoma cells were deficient in osterix (osx), a zinc finger-containing transcription factor required for osteoblasts differentiation and bone formation. These cells formed lytic tumors when injected into the tibia. The destruction of bone is mediated by osteoclasts in osteosarcoma. The less expression of osterix with osteolytic phenotype was also observed in more tumor cell lines. Replacement of osterix in K7M2 cells suppressed lytic bone destruction, inhibited tumor growth in vitro and in vivo, and suppressed lung metastasis in vivo and the migration of K7M2 to lung conditioned medium in vitro. By contrast, inhibiting osterix by vector-based small interfering RNA (siRNA) in two cell lines (Dunn and DLM8) that expressed high levels of osterix converted osteoblastic phenotype to lytic. Recognizing and binding of Receptor Activator of NF-κB (RANK) on osteoclast precursors by its ligand RANKL is the key osteoclastogenic event. Increased RANKL results in more osteoclast activity. We investigated whether K7M2-mediated bone destruction was secondary to an effect on RANKL. The conditioned medium from K7M2 could upregulate RANKL in normal osteoblast MC3T3, which might lead to more osteoclast formation. By contrast, the conditioned medium from K7M2 cells transfected with osx-expressing plasmid did not upregulate RANKL. Furthermore, Interleukin-1alpha (IL-1α) was significantly suppressed following osx transfection. IL-1α increased RANKL expression in MC3T3 cells, suggesting that osx may control RANKL via a mechanism involving IL-1α. Using a luciferase reporter assay, we demonstrated that osx downregulated IL-1α through a transcription-mediated mechanism. Following suppression of osterix in Dunn and DLM8 cells led to enhanced IL-1α promoter activity and protein production. Site-directed mutagenesis and Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) indicated that osterix downregulated IL-1α through a Sp1-binding site on the IL-1α promoter. These data suggest that osterix is involved in the lytic phenotype of osteosarcoma and that this is mediated via transcriptional repression of IL-1α.

Subject Area

Molecular biology

Recommended Citation

Cao, Ying, "Osterix inhibits bone destruction in osteosarcoma through transcriptional repression of Interleukin-1alpha expression" (2006). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3209526.