Periostin is a 90 kDa secreted protein, originally identified in murine osteoblast-like cells, with a distribution restricted to collagen-rich tissues and certain tumors. In this paper, we first analyzed the expression of periostin mRNA and protein in human fetal osteoblasts (hFOB) and human osteosarcoma (hOS) cell lines by RT real-time PCR and Western blot, respectively. The hFOB 1.19 and three hOS (MHM, KPDXM and Eggen) showed highly variable periostin mRNA levels and protein. Second, we showed that the expression of periostin mRNA was inversely related to the cells' abilities to differentiate and mineralize. Then, we investigated the regulation of periostin mRNA in hFOB after siRNA treatment and in mouse primary osteoblasts (mOB) treated with PTH. Knock-down of periostin mRNA, down-regulated PTHrP, but did not affect the expression of other important markers of differentiation such as RUNX2. In addition, periostin mRNA was transiently up-regulated in osteoblasts by PTH. Finally, the localization of periostin and its partially co-localization with collagen 1a1 mRNA and protein was studied in mouse embryos and postnatal pups using in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry, respectively. In conclusion, the present study provides novel observations related to the expression, distribution and regulation of periostin in bone cells and extracellular matrix.
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