Sp1-dependent regulation of PPARα in bone metabolism

Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants. 2014 Jan-Feb;29(1):e107-16. doi: 10.11607/jomi.te49.


Purpose: Successful repair and regeneration in bone tissue engineering vastly depends on proper interaction between the tissue-engineered construct and the recipient's immune system. In clinical application, adverse responses to bioartificial implants may result in chronic inflammation and loss of the implant. It is known that prolonged inflammation linked to NF-κB inflammatory pathways inhibits bone-forming activity of osteoblast cells. Contributing to orchestrate inflammatory processes, the ligand-activated transcription factor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARα) holds inhibitory effects on NF-κB and CEBβ activity. Sp1, a widely expressed transcription factor, has been linked to PPAR pathways, cellular homeostasis, and responsiveness to environmental perturbation. Formerly not being characterized, the role of PPARα in inflammatory-mediated bone loss requires further investigation. The aim of the present study was to identify regulatory transcription factor binding sites (TFBS) on the PPAR alpha promoter and to assess the role of Sp1 and associated proteins in its regulation.

Materials and methods: In a first set of experiments, polymerase chain reaction assessed the presence of PPARα gene expression in isolated murine bone tissue. Deletion mutagenesis was performed on the human PPARα (hPPARα) promoter gene, and the deletion constructs were transiently transfected to murine osteoblasts to identify important TFBS. PPARα promoter-driven reporter gene expression was monitored in response to overexpression and repression of Sp1 to analyze functional transcription factor recruitment to the PPARα promoter.

Results: This study could demonstrate that the full-length hPPARα promoter contains inhibiting promoter regions and that hPPARα basal expression can be significantly increased by deletion mutagensis. Sp1 TFBS proved functional in the regulation of PPARα promoter activity, and the first five Sp1 motifs on the PPARα promoter were sufficient to significantly increase PPARα expression. Additional transient co-transfection experiments could not detect any direct effect of NF-κB/IκB downstream pathway on the regulation of PPARα promoter activity. Taken together, we could demonstrate that Sp1 plays a key role in transcriptional regulation of PPARα promoter activity and gene expression.

Conclusion: This study provides further insight on Sp1-dependent PPARα regulatory mechanisms and suggests that Sp1-regulated PPARα expression plays a key role in inflammatory mediated bone loss.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Binding Sites
  • Bone Resorption / genetics
  • Bone Resorption / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • NF-kappa B / genetics
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Osteoblasts / metabolism*
  • PPAR alpha / genetics
  • PPAR alpha / metabolism*
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic*
  • Sequence Deletion*
  • Sp1 Transcription Factor / physiology*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Transfection


  • NF-kappa B
  • PPAR alpha
  • Sp1 Transcription Factor
  • Transcription Factors