Dentin matrix protein 1 (DMP1) is an acidic phosphorylated extracellular protein and essential for mineralization of dentin and bone; however, the precise mechanism regulating DMP1 expression is not fully understood. A synthetic glucocorticoid (GC), dexamethasone (Dex), promotes an early osteoblast differentiation of a mesenchymal progenitor, ROB-C26 (C26), in parallel with inductive expression of an osteoblast-specific transcription factor, Runx2, and other extracellular matrix proteins such as osteocalcin and bone sialoprotein (BSP). We have examined the effect of Dex on DMP1 expression via induction of Runx2 in C26 cells. Real time RT-PCR showed that Dex increases DMP1 mRNA expression levels at time- and dose-dependent manners and a GC antagonist, RU486, drastically inhibited DMP1 mRNA expression levels. Furthermore, Dex increased the luciferase activity of six-repeated osteoblast-specific cis-acting element 2 (6 × OSE2), which is the binding sequence of Runx2, suggesting that Dex stimulates DMP1 expression via activation of Runx2. However, unexpected results showed that overexpression of exogenous Runx2 depressed DMP1 mRNA expression level, even after cells had been treated with Dex, while downregulated expression of endogenous Runx2 enhanced Dex-induced DMP1 mRNA expression level. These results imply that large amounts of exogenous Runx2 inhibit DMP1 expression, whereas small amounts are more effective for Dex-induced DMP1 expression in C26 cells. Therefore, Dex may activate some factors that inhibit negative action of Runx2 on DMP1 expression. Since mitogen-activating protein kinase (MAPK) phosphatase-1 (MKP-1) has been reported to affect the Dex-induced osteoblast differentiation via decrease of Runx2-phosphorylation, we focus on the relationship between MKP-1 and DMP1 expression. Dex increases MKP-1 expression, and overexpression of exogenous MKP-1 showed significant increase of luciferase activity of 6 × OSE up to the level detected in Dex-treated C26 cells. However, no inductive DMP1 mRNA expression level was found in C26 cells unlike BSP and OPN. These results suggest that although MKP-1 increases DNA-binding activity of Runx2, DMP1 expression may require the collaboration of MKP-1 and additive factors to stimulate Runx2-mediated DMP1 expression in the post-transcriptional event of Dex-treated C26 cells.