Identification of Rorβ targets in cultured osteoblasts and in human bone

Matthew M. Roforth, Sundeep Khosla, David G. Monroe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Control of osteoblastic bone formation involves the cumulative action of numerous transcription factors, including both activating and repressive functions that are important during specific stages of differentiation. The nuclear receptor retinoic acid receptor-related orphan receptor β (Rorβ) has been recently shown to suppress the osteogenic phenotype in cultured osteoblasts, and is highly upregulated in bone marrow-derived osteogenic precursors isolated from aged osteoporotic mice, suggesting Rorβ is an important regulator of osteoblast function. However the specific gene expression patterns elicited by Rorβ are unknown. Using microarray analysis, we identified 281 genes regulated by Rorβ in an MC3T3-E1 mouse osteoblast cell model (MC3T3-Rorβ-GFP). Pathway analysis revealed alterations in genes involved in MAPK signaling, genes involved in extracellular matrix (ECM) regulation, and cytokine-receptor interactions. Whereas the identified Rorβ-regulated ECM genes normally decline during osteoblastic differentiation, they were highly upregulated in this non-mineralizing MC3T3-Rorβ-GFP model system, suggesting that Rorβ may exert its anti-osteogenic effects through ECM disruption. Consistent with these in vitro findings, the expression of both RORβ and a subset of RORβ-regulated genes were increased in bone biopsies from postmenopausal women (73 ± 7 years old) compared to premenopausal women (30 ± 5 years old), suggesting a role for RORβ in human age-related bone loss. Collectively, these data demonstrate that Rorβ regulates known osteogenic pathways, and may represent a novel therapeutic target for age-associated bone loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)768-773
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2013


  • Extracellular matrix
  • Microarray
  • Osteoblast
  • Pathway analysis
  • Proliferation
  • Rorβ

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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