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Zic1 transcription factor in bone: neural developmental protein regulates mechanotransduction in osteocytes
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Emeritus Professor Roger Francis
Dr Mark Birch
Dr Harish Datta
Kalogeropoulos M, Varanasi SS, Olstad OK, Sanderson P, Gautvik VT, Reppe S, Francis RM, Gautvik KM, Birch MA, Datta HK
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A transcriptome analysis compared gene expression in human bone biopsy samples taken from lumbar spine and iliac crest, sites that experience high and low levels of mechanical stress, respectively. The analysis revealed that the zinc finger protein of cerebellum (Zic) family member transcription factor Zic1 was the most up-regulated gene in the lumbar spine (202-fold;
) in comparison with the iliac crest. Software analysis of differential gene expression in the biopsy samples identified the ciliary-related proteins PATCH1 and GLI-Kruppel family members Gli1 and Gli3 as part of a potential molecular network associated with Zic1. RT-PCR confirmed the expression of Zic1, Gli1, and Gli3 and other related key signaling mediators in osteoblastic cells and osteocytes
. Zic1 was immunolocalized in the cytosol and nucleus of the murine osteocyte cell line MLO-Y4 and osteoblast-like cells MC3T3-E1 and in primary rat osteoblasts. MLO-Y4 cells subjected to prolonged oscillatory fluid flow showed increased localization of Zic1 in the nucleus with diminished levels in the cytosol, but no such changes were seen in MC3T3-E1 cells. A shear stress-induced increase in T-cell factor/lymphoid enhancer factor transcriptional activity was abolished by Zic1 gene silencing. These results suggest that Zic1, perhaps together with Gli1 and Gli3, may act as a link between mechanosensing and Wnt signaling. We conclude that Zic1, a neural developmental transcription factor, plays an important role in shear flow mechanotransduction in osteocytes.
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