NF-kappaB specifically activates BMP-2 gene expression in growth plate chondrocytes in vivo and in a chondrocyte cell line in vitro. Academic Article uri icon


  • Bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) regulates growth plate chondrogenesis during development and postnatal bone growth, but the control mechanisms of BMP-2 expression in growth plate chondrocytes are unknown. Here we have used both in vitro and in vivo approaches to demonstrate that transcription factor, NF-kappaB, regulates BMP-2 gene expression in chondrocytes. Two putative NF-kappaB response elements were found in the -2712/+165 region of the BMP-2 gene. Cotransfection of mutant I-kappaBalpha expression plasmids with BMP-2 promoter-luciferase reporters into TMC-23 chondrocyte cell line suppressed BMP-2 transcription. Mutations in NF-kappaB response elements in the BMP-2 gene lead to decreases in BMP-2 promoter activity. Electrophoretic mobility shift assay using nuclear extracts from TMC-23 chondrocytic cells revealed that the NF-kappaB subunits p50 and p65 bound to the NF-kappaB response elements of the BMP-2 gene. Thus, NF-kappaB may positively regulate BMP-2 gene transcription. Consistent with these findings, expression of BMP-2 mRNA was significantly reduced in growth plate chondrocytes in NF-kappaB p50/p52 dKO mice, which associated with decreased numbers of 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdUrd)-positive cells in the proliferating zone of growth plate in these mice. Therefore, in postnatal growth plate chondrocytes, expression of BMP-2 is regulated by NF-kappaB, which may play an important role in chondrogenesis.

published proceedings

  • J Biol Chem

author list (cited authors)

  • Feng, J. Q., Xing, L., Zhang, J., Zhao, M., Horn, D., Chan, J., ... Chen, D. i.

citation count

  • 109

publication date

  • August 2003