MITF and PU.1 recruit p38 MAPK and NFATc1 to target genes during osteoclast differentiation

Sudarshana M. Sharma, Agnieszka Bronisz, Rong Hu, Krupen Patel, Kim C. Mansky, Said Sif, Michael C. Ostrowski

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138 Scopus citations


Transcription factors NFATc1, PU.1, and MITF collaborate to regulate specific genes in response to colony-stimulating factor-1 (CSF-1) and receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL) signaling during osteoclast differentiation. However, molecular details concerning timing and mechanism of specific events remain ill-defined. In bone marrow-derived precursors, CSF-1 alone promoted assembly of MITF-PU.1 complexes at osteoclast target gene promoters like cathepsin K and acid 5 phosphatase without increasing gene expression. The combination of RANKL and CSF-1 concurrently increased the levels of MAPK-phosphorylated forms of MITF, p38 MAPK, and SWI/SNF chromatin-remodeling complexes bound to these target promoters and markedly increased expression of the genes. NFATc1 was subsequently recruited to complexes at the promoters during terminal stages of osteoclast differentiation. Genetic analysis of Mitf and Pu.1 in mouse models supported the critical interaction of these genes in osteoclast differentiation. The results define MITF and PU.1 as nuclear effectors that integrate CSF-1/RANKL signals during osteoclast differentiation to initiate expression of target genes, whereas a complex that includes NFATc1 may act to maintain target gene expression in differentiated cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15921-15929
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number21
StatePublished - May 25 2007


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