The phosphate-regulating gene with homologies to endopeptidases on the X chromosome (PHEX) is a member of the neutral endopeptidase family, which is expressed predominantly on the plasma membranes of mature osteoblasts and osteocytes. Although it is known that the loss of PHEX function results in X-linked hypophosphatemic rickets, characterized by abnormal bone matrix mineralization and renal phosphate wasting, little is known about how PHEX is regulated. We therefore sought to determine whether the murine PHEX gene is regulated by glucocorticoids (GCs), which are known to influence phosphate homeostasis and bone metabolism. Northern blot analysis revealed increased PHEX mRNA expression in GC-treated suckling mice (1.5-fold) and in rat osteogenic sarcoma (UMR-106) cells (2.5-fold). An increase was also seen in PHEX promoter activity in transiently transfected UMR-106 cells with GC treatment. Analysis of nested promoter deletions revealed that an atypical GC response element was located between -337 and -315 bp. Mutational analysis and electrophoretic mobility shift assays further identified -326 to -321 bp as a site involved in GC regulation. Supershift analyses and electrophoretic mobility shift assay competition studies indicated that the core binding factor α1-subunit transcription factor is able to bind to this region and may therefore play a role in the GC response of the murine PHEX gene.
- Core binding factor α1-subunit
- Hyp mouse
- Transcriptional regulation
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