Runx2/Cbfa1 functions: Diverse regulation of gene transcription by chromatin remodeling and co-regulatory protein interactions

Jane B. Lian, Janet L. Stein, Gary S. Stein, André J. van Wijnen, Martin Montecino, Amjad Javed, Soraya Gutierrez, Jiali Shen, S. Kaleem Zaidi, Hicham Drissi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Development of the osteoblast phenotype requires transcriptional mechanisms that regulate induction of a program of temporally expressed genes. Key components of gene activation, repression, and responsiveness to physiologic mediators require remodeling of the chromatin structure of a gene that renders promoter elements competent for the assembly of macromolecular transcriptional complexes. Here we review evidence that the Runx transcription factors support tissue-specific gene expression and bone formation by contributing to promoter structure, chromatin remodeling, and the integration of independent signaling pathways. In addition, we discuss the role of Runx2 in both activation and negative regulation of gene promoters (osteocalcin, bone sialoprotein, and Runx2/Cbfa1) in relation to the interaction of Runx with coregulatory proteins in distinct subnuclear foci. The modifications in chromatin organization and transcription of the osteocalcin gene that are influenced by the activities of Runx2/Cbfa1 mediated by interacting proteins (YAP, TLE, SMAD, C/EBP) are emphasized. These functional properties of Runx2 provide novel insights into the requirements for multiple levels of transcriptional control within the context of nuclear architecture to support the convergence of regulatory signals that control tissue-specific gene expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-148
Number of pages8
JournalConnective Tissue Research
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - 2003


  • Bone specific
  • Chromatin
  • Osteoblast
  • Osteocalcin
  • Runt homology domain
  • Runx2/Cbfa1
  • Transcriptional regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Biochemistry
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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