Role of ATF7-TAF12 interactions in the vitamin D response hypersensitivity of osteoclast precursors in Paget's disease


Address correspondence to: Noriyoshi Kurihara, DDS, PhD, Indiana University, Hematology Oncology, 980 W Walnut St., Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA. E-mail:


Osteoclast (OCL) precursors from many Paget's disease (PD) patients express measles virus nucleocapsid protein (MVNP) and are hypersensitive to 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25-(OH)2D3; also know as calcitriol). The increased 1,25-(OH)2D3 sensitivity is mediated by transcription initiation factor TFIID subunit 12 (TAF12), a coactivator of the vitamin D receptor (VDR), which is present at much higher levels in MVNP-expressing OCL precursors than normals. These results suggest that TAF12 plays an important role in the abnormal OCL activity in PD. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying both 1,25-(OH)2D3's effects on OCL formation and the contribution of TAF12 to these effects in both normals and PD patients are unclear. Inhibition of TAF12 with a specific TAF12 antisense construct decreased OCL formation and OCL precursors' sensitivity to 1,25-(OH)2D3 in PD patient bone marrow samples. Further, OCL precursors from transgenic mice in which TAF12 expression was targeted to the OCL lineage (tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase [TRAP]-TAF12 mice), formed OCLs at very low levels of 1,25-(OH)2D3, although the OCLs failed to exhibit other hallmarks of PD OCLs, including receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL) hypersensitivity and hypermultinucleation. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) analysis of OCL precursors using an anti-TAF12 antibody demonstrated that TAF12 binds the 24-hydroxylase (CYP24A1) promoter, which contains two functional vitamin D response elements (VDREs), in the presence of 1,25-(OH)2D3. Because TAF12 directly interacts with the cyclic adenosine monophosphate–dependent activating transcription factor 7 (ATF7) and potentiates ATF7-induced transcriptional activation of ATF7-driven genes in other cell types, we determined whether TAF12 is a functional partner of ATF7 in OCL precursors. Immunoprecipitation of lysates from either wild-type (WT) or MVNP-expressing OCL with an anti-TAF12 antibody, followed by blotting with an anti-ATF7 antibody, or vice versa, showed that TAF12 and ATF7 physically interact in OCLs. Knockdown of ATF7 in MVNP-expressing cells decreased cytochrome P450, family 24, subfamily A, polypeptide 1 (CYP24A1) induction by 1,25-(OH)2D3, as well as TAF12 binding to the CYP24A1 promoter. These results show that ATF7 interacts with TAF12 and contributes to the hypersensitivity of OCL precursors to 1,25-(OH)2D3 in PD.