Reduction of protein phosphatase 2A Cα enhances bone formation and osteoblast differentiation through the expression of bone-specific transcription factor Osterix

Hirohiko Okamura, Kaya Yoshida, Kazuhiko Ochiai, Tatsuji Haneji

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16 Citations (Scopus)


The serine/threonine protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) participates in regulating many important physiological processes such as control of cell cycle, growth, and division. On the other hand, Osterix is a zinc-finger-containing transcription factor that is essential for the differentiation of osteoblasts and regulation of many bone-related genes. Here we examined the effect of okadaic acid (OA), a specific inhibitor of PP2A, on bone formation in vivo and the molecular mechanism regulated by PP2A Cα in osteoblast differentiation. Administration of 1. nM OA to the calvarial region in mice increased bone mineral density, as shown by μ CT, while histomorphological analysis showed an increase in mineral apposition and bone thickness in the same region. In addition, treatment with 1. nM OA stimulated osteoblast differentiation and the expression of Osterix, bone sialoprotein (Bsp), and osteocalcin (OCN) in mouse osteoblastic MC3T3-E1 cells. Moreover, the expression and phosphatase activity of PP2A Cα was decreased in the initial step of osteoblast differentiation, which was in parallel with an increase in Osterix expression. To further clarify the role of PP2A Cα in osteoblast differentiation, we constructed PP2A knock-down cells by infecting MC3T3-E1 cells with a lentivirus expressing shRNA specific for the PP2A Cα Accordingly, the silencing of PP2A Cα in MC3T3-E1 cells dramatically increased osteoblast differentiation and mineralization, which were accompanied with expressions of Osterix, Bsp, and OCN. Our data indicate that PP2A Cα plays an important role in the regulation of bone formation and osteoblast differentiation through the bone-related genes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)368-375
Number of pages8
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2011
Externally publishedYes



  • Bone formation
  • Differentiation
  • Osteoblasts
  • Osterix
  • Protein phosphatase 2A

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Histology

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