Author(s): Takamoto M, Tsuji K, Yamashita T, Sasaki H, Yano T,
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Abstract Hedgehog signaling is considered to play a crucial role in chondrogenesis by regulation through a network of cytokine actions, which is not fully understood. We examined the effect of hedgehog signaling on the expression of core-binding factor a1 (Cbfa1), a critical transcription factor for the development of bone and cartilage. Primary chondrocytes prepared from the costal cartilage of newborn mice were treated with N-terminal fragment of recombinant murine sonic hedgehog (rmShh-N). Northern blot analysis indicated that Cbfa1 mRNA expression levels in the chondrocyte cultures were elevated by the treatment with rmShh-N. rmShh-N treatment enhanced 1.8 kb Cbfa1 promoter activity in chondrocytes, suggesting the presence of transcriptional control. As Cbfa1-binding site(s) have been located in the promoter of the receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappaB (RANK) ligand (RANKL) gene, we also examined RANKL expression. rmShh-N treatment upregulated RANKL and RANK mRNA expression levels in chondrocytes. Interestingly, RANKL suppressed the hedgehog enhancement of alkaline phosphatase activity in chondrocytes, suggesting the presence of a link between these signaling molecules. We conclude that hedgehog signaling activates Cbfa1 gene expression through its promoter in chondrocytes, and also activates and interacts with RANKL to maintain cartilage development.
This article was published in J Endocrinol
and referenced in Journal of Diabetes & Metabolism