Nuclear Factor of Activated T-cells (Nfat)c2 Inhibits Notch Signaling in Osteoblasts

Zanotti, S. etc
J Biol Chem, 2012

Notch receptors regulate osteoblastogenesis, and Notch activation induces cleavage and nuclear translocation of the Notch intracellular domain (NICD), which associates with Epstein-Barr virus latency C-promoter binding factor-1/suppressor of hairless/lag-1 (CSL), and induces transcription of Notch target genes, such as hairy enhancer of split-related with YRPW motif (Hey)1 and Hey2. Nuclear factor of activated T-cells (Nfat) are transcription factors that regulate osteoclastogenesis, but their function in osteoblasts is not clear. Notch inhibits Nfatc1 transcription, but interactions between Notch and Nfat are understood poorly. To determine the regulation of Nfat expression by Notch, osteoblasts from RosaNotch mice, where NICD is transcribed following excision of a loxP flanked STOP cassette, were used. Alternatively, wild-type C57BL/6 osteoblasts were exposed to the Notch ligand Delta-like (Dll)1, to induce Notch signaling, or to bovine serum albumin, as control. In RosaNotch osteoblasts, Notch suppressed Nfatc1 expression, increased Nfatc2 mRNA by post-transcriptional mechanisms, and had no effect on Nfatc3 and Nfatc4 transcripts. Induction of Nfatc2 transcripts by Notch was confirmed in C57BL/6 osteoblasts exposed to Dll1. To investigate Nfatc2 function in osteoblasts, constitutively active Nfatc2 was overexpressed in RosaNotch osteoblasts. Nfatc2 suppressed Notch transactivation and expression of Hey genes. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays revealed that Nfatc2 and CSL bind to similar DNA sequences, and chromatin immunoprecipitation indicated that Nfatc2 displaced CSL from the Hey2 promoter. The effects of NICD and Nfatc2 in RosaNotch osteoblasts were assessed, and both proteins inhibited osteoblast function. In conclusion, Notch stabilizes Nfatc2 transcripts, Nfatc2 suppresses Notch signaling, and both proteins inhibit osteoblast function.

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J Biol Chem
doi: 10.1074/jbc.M112.340455
St. Francis Hospital