Three-dimensional organization of chromatin is fundamental for transcriptional regulation. Tissuespecific transcriptional programs are orchestrated by transcription factors and epigenetic regulators. The RUNX2 transcription factor is required for differentiation of precursor cells into mature osteoblasts. Although organization and control of the bone-specific Runx2-P1 promoter have been studied extensively, long-range regulation has not been explored. In this study, we investigated higherorder organization of the Runx2-P1 promoter during osteoblast differentiation. Mining the ENCODE database revealed interactions between Runx2-P1 and Supt3h promoters in several non-mesenchymal human cell lines. Supt3h is a ubiquitously expressed gene located within the first intron of Runx2. These two genes show shared synteny across species from humans to sponges. Chromosome conformation capture analysis in the murine pre-osteoblastic MC3T3-E1 cell line revealed increased contact frequency between Runx2-P1 and Supt3h promoters during differentiation. This increase was accompanied by enhanced DNaseI hypersensitivity along with RUNX2 and CTCF binding at the Supt3h promoter. Furthermore, interplasmid-3C and luciferase reporter assays showed that the Supt3h promoter can modulate Runx2-P1 activity via direct association. Taken together, our data demonstrate physical proximity between Runx2-P1 and Supt3h promoters, consistent with their syntenic nature. Importantly, we identify the Supt3h promoter as a potential regulator of the bone-specific Runx2-P1 promoter.
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