|Msx2 exerts bone anabolism via canonical Wnt signaling. |
Su-Li Cheng,Jian-Su Shao,Jun Cai,Oscar L Sierra,Dwight A Towler
The Journal of biological chemistry
Msx2 is a homeodomain transcription factor first identified in craniofacial bone and human femoral osteoblasts. We hypothesized that Msx2 might activate skeletal Wnt signaling. Therefore, we analyzed the effects of CMV-Msx2 transgene (Msx2Tg) expression on skeletal physiology and composition. Skeletal Msx2 expression was increased 2-3-fold by Msx2Tg, with expanded protein accumulation in marrow, secondary ossification centers, and periosteum. Microcomputed tomography established increased bone volume in Msx2Tg mice, with increased numbers of plate-like trabeculae. Histomorphometry revealed increased bone formation in Msx2Tg mice versus non-Tg siblings, arising from increased osteoblast numbers. While decreasing adipogenesis, Msx2Tg increased osteogenic differentiation via mechanisms inhibited by Dkk1, an antagonist of Wnt receptors LRP5 and LRP6. Bone from Msx2Tg mice elaborated higher levels of Wnt7 canonical agonists, with diminished Dkk1, changes that augment canonical signaling. Analysis of non-Tg and Msx2Tg siblings possessing the TOPGAL reporter confirmed this; Msx2Tg up-regulated skeletal beta-galactosidase expression (p = 0.01), along with Wnt7a and Wnt7b, and reduced circulating Dkk1. To better understand molecular mechanisms, we studied C3H10T1/2 osteoprogenitor cells. As in bone, Msx2 increased Wnt7 genes and down-regulated Dkk1, while inducing the osteoblast gene alkaline phosphatase. Msx2-directed RNA interference increased Dkk1 expression and promoter activity, while reducing Wnt7a, Wnt7b, and alkaline phosphatase. Moreover, Msx2 inhibited Dkk1 promoter activity and reduced RNA polymerase association with Dkk1 chromatin. RNA interference-mediated knockdown of Wnt7a, Wnt7b, and LRP6 significantly reduced Msx2-induced alkaline phosphatase. Msx2 exerts bone anabolism in part by reducing Dkk1 expression and enhancing Wnt signaling, thus promoting osteogenic differentiation of skeletal progenitors.Full Text Article
|The TAK1-NLK-MAPK-related pathway antagonizes signalling between beta-catenin and transcription factor TCF. |
Ishitani, T, et al.
Nature, 399: 798-802 (1999)
The Wnt signalling pathway regulates many developmental processes through a complex of beta-catenin and the T-cell factor/lymphoid enhancer factor (TCF/LEF) family of high-mobility-group transcription factors. Wnt stabilizes cytosolic beta-catenin, which then binds to TCF and activates gene transcription. This signalling cascade is conserved in vertebrates, Drosophila and Caenorhabditis elegans. In C. elegans, the proteins MOM-4 and LIT-1 regulate Wnt signalling to polarize responding cells during embryogenesis. MOM-4 and LIT-1 are homologous to TAK1 (a kinase activated by transforming growth factor-beta) mitogen-activated protein-kinase-kinase kinase (MAP3K) and MAP kinase (MAPK)-related NEMO-like kinase (NLK), respectively, in mammalian cells. These results raise the possibility that TAK1 and NLK are also involved in Wnt signalling in mammalian cells. Here we show that TAK1 activation stimulates NLK activity and downregulates transcriptional activation mediated by beta-catenin and TCF. Injection of NLK suppresses the induction of axis duplication by microinjected beta-catenin in Xenopus embryos. NLK phosphorylates TCF/LEF factors and inhibits the interaction of the beta-catenin-TCF complex with DNA. Thus, the TAK1-NLK-MAPK-like pathway negatively regulates the Wnt signalling pathway.
|Two members of the Tcf family implicated in Wnt/beta-catenin signaling during embryogenesis in the mouse. |
Korinek, V, et al.
Mol. Cell. Biol., 18: 1248-56 (1998)
Tcf transcription factors interact with beta-catenin and Armadillo to mediate Wnt/Wingless signaling. We now report the characterization of genes encoding two murine members of the Tcf family, mTcf-3 and mTcf-4. mTcf-3 mRNA is ubiquitously present in embryonic day 6.5 (E6.5) mouse embryos but gradually disappears over the next 3 to 4 days. mTcf-4 expression occurs first at E10.5 and is restricted to di- and mesencephalon and the intestinal epithelium during embryogenesis. The mTcf-3 and mTcf-4 proteins bind a canonical Tcf DNA motif and can complex with the transcriptional coactivator beta-catenin. Overexpression of Wnt-1 in a mammary epithelial cell line leads to the formation of a nuclear complex between beta-catenin and Tcf proteins and to Tcf reporter gene transcription. These data demonstrate a direct link between Wnt stimulation and beta-catenin/Tcf transcriptional activation and imply a role for mTcf-3 and -4 in early Wnt-driven developmental decisions in the mouse embryo.