Dentin matrix protein 1 gene cis-regulation: use in osteocytes to characterize local responses to mechanical loading in vitro and in vivo. Academic Article uri icon


  • Dentin matrix protein 1 (DMP1) is highly expressed in osteocytes and is mechanically responsive. To study osteocyte-specific and mechanically regulated DMP1 gene expression, the transcriptional activity of three cis-regulatory regions was first examined in an osteoblast differentiation model in vitro using a green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter. Expression of the -9624 to +1996 bp (10 kb) and -7892 to +4439 bp (8 kb) DMP1 cis-regulatory regions dramatically increased in areas of mineralized matrix, in dendritic, osteocyte-like cells. Mineralizing cultures expressing the 8-kb construct show dramatic GFP increases in response to loading in cells with a dendritic morphology. Transgenic mice expressing the 8-kb DMP1-GFP and -2433 to +4439 bp (2.5 kb) DMP1-LacZ were generated. Osteocyte-specific expression was found with the 8 kb but not with the 2.5 kb in postnatal animals. However, the 2.5 kb could support expression in rapidly forming osteoblasts and pre-osteocytes in the embryo. Primary calvarial osteoblast cultures demonstrated that the 2.5 kb supports weak expression in a subset of osteoblasts and pre-osteocytes, but not in mature osteocytes. However, the 8 kb supports robust expression in primary bone marrow cultures. Therefore the region -7892 to -2433 bp, termed a 5.5-kb "Osteocyte Enhancer Module," appears to be required for osteocyte specificity. Ulnae of mice with the 8-kb DMP1-GFP were subjected to mechanical loading where GFP expression increased selectively and locally in osteocytes, distal to the mid-shaft and near the surface of the bone. Thus, the 8-kb region of the DMP1 gene is a target for mechanotransduction in osteocytes, and its cis-regulatory activity may be correlated to local strain in bone.

published proceedings

  • J Biol Chem

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Yang, W., Lu, Y., Kalajzic, I., Guo, D., Harris, M. A., Gluhak-Heinrich, J., ... Harris, S. E.

citation count

  • 100

complete list of authors

  • Yang, Wuchen||Lu, Yongbo||Kalajzic, Ivo||Guo, Dayong||Harris, Marie A||Gluhak-Heinrich, Jelica||Kotha, Shiva||Bonewald, Lynda F||Feng, Jian Q||Rowe, David W||Turner, Charles H||Robling, Alexander G||Harris, Stephen E

publication date

  • January 2005