A new role for Filamin A as a regulator of Runx2 function

  • Cesar Lopez Camacho

    Student thesis: Phd


    AbstractThe University of Manchester, Cesar Lopez Camacho PhD in Molecular BiologyThesis title: A new role for Filamin A as a regulator of Runx2 functionJanuary 2011Filamin A is a well-characterised cytoskeletal protein which regulates cell shape and migration by cross-linking with actin. Filamin A mutations cause a number of human developmental disorders, many of which exhibit skeletal dysplasia. However, the molecular mechanisms by which Filamin A affects skeletal development are unknown. The transcription factor Runx2 is a master regulator of osteoblast and chondrocyte differentiation. Data presented in this thesis show that Filamin A forms a complex with Runx2 in osteoblastic cell lines. Moreover, it is demonstrated that Filamin A is present in the nucleus in several cell lines, including those of osteoblastic origin. The data presented show that the Filamin A/Runx2 complex suppresses the expression of the gene encoding the matrix-degrading enzyme, matrix metalloproteinase-13 (MMP-13), which is an important osteoblastic differentiation marker. ChIP assays were employed to demonstrate that endogenously expressed Filamin A associates with the promoter of the MMP-13 gene. In addition, Filamin A is not only located in the nucleus but also in the nucleolus, an important nuclear compartment involved in ribosomal RNA (rRNA) transcription. Ribosomal DNA promoter-driven reporter assays, Filamin A-knockdown experiments and exogenous Filamin A transfections demonstrated that Filamin A and Runx2 can repress ribosomal gene expression activity. Importantly, Filamin A is recruited to the human ribosomal DNA promoter, suggesting its direct involvement in the regulation of rRNA transcription. These findings reveal a novel role of Filamin A in the direct regulation of ribosomal gene expression. Finally, by using microarray technology, changes in gene expression were identified when Filamin A was downregulated. Some of the differentially expressed genes were known orchestrators of bone development. The data presented in this thesis strengthen the link between Filamin A and bone development and provide a molecular rationale for how Filamin A, acting as a regulator of gene expression, might influence osteoblastic differentiation.
    Date of Award1 Aug 2011
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • The University of Manchester
    SupervisorPaul Shore (Supervisor)


    • Filamin A, Runx2, osteoblastic differentiation, nucleolus

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