Retinoblastoma binding protein-1 (RBP1) is a Runx2 coactivator and promotes osteoblastic differentiation

David G. Monroe, John R. Hawse, Malayannan Subramaniam, Thomas C. Spelsberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background. Numerous transcription factors are involved in the establishment and maintenance of the osteoblastic phenotype, such as Runx2, osterix and Dlx5. The transcription factor retinoblastoma binding protein-1 (RBP1) was recently identified as an estrogen regulated gene in an osteosarcoma cell model. Since the function of RBP1 in osteoblastic differentiation and mineralization is unknown, we investigated the role of RBP1 in these processes. Methods. To create a cell model with suppressed RBP1 expression, primary calvarial osteoblasts were infected with a shRNA lentiviral vector specific for mouse RBP1 (CalOB-ΔRBP1) or a scrambled control shRNA lentivirus (CalOB-Control). Stable cell lines were generated and their mineralization potential was determined using osteoblastic differentiation medium, Alizarin Red staining, and quantitative PCR (QPCR) analyses. Runx2 coactivation by RBP1 was determined through the use of transient transfection assays. Results. Stable expression of the RBP1 shRNA lentivirus in CalOB-ΔRBP1 cells resulted in a 65-70% suppression of RBP1 expression. Osteoblastic mineralization assays demonstrated that suppression of RBP1 results in a potent delay in osteoblastic nodule formation in the CalOB-ΔRBP1 cells with a concomitant decrease in the expression of the osteogenic transcription factors Runx2 and osterix, along with decreases in BMP2, alkaline phosphatase, osteocalcin and bone sialoprotein. Regulation of Runx2 expression by RBP1 was shown to be mediated through the proximal P2 Runx2 promoter. Furthermore, RBP1 was demonstrated to be a potent coactivator of Runx2 transcriptional activity on two known Runx2 reporter constructs. These data suggest that the expression and activity of Runx2 is critically dependent on the presence of RBP1. Conclusions. This study is the first to demonstrate that RBP1 is an important mediator of the osteoblastic phenotype and clearly defines RBP1 as a novel transcription factor involved in the well known Runx2-osterix transcriptional cascade. As such, the effects of RBP1 on these processes are mediated through both regulation of Runx2 expression and transcriptional activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104
JournalBMC Musculoskeletal Disorders
StatePublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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