ThPOK inhibits osteoclast formation via NFATc1 transcription and function

Wei Zou, Takashi Izawa, Nidhi Rohatgi, Steven Y. Zou, Yongjia Li, Steven L. Teitelbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Both LRF (Zbtb7a) and ThPOK (Zbtb7b) belong to the POK (BTB/POZ and Kruppel) family of transcription repressors which participate in development, differentiation and oncogenesis. While LRF mediates osteoclast differentiation by regulating NFATc1 expression, the principal established function of ThPOK is transcriptional control of T-cell lineage commitment. Whether ThPOK affects osteoclast formation or function, is not known.We find that marrow macrophage ThPOK expression diminishes with exposure to RANKL but ThPOK deficiency does not affect osteoclast differentiation. On the other hand, enhanced ThPOK, in macrophages, substantially impairs osteoclastogenesis. Excess ThPOK binds the NFATc1 promoter and suppresses its transcription suggesting a mechanism for its osteoclast inhibitory effect. Despite suppression of osteoclastogenesis by excess ThPOK being associated with diminished NFATc1, osteoclast formation is not rescued by NFATc1 overexpression. Thus, ThPOK appears to inhibit NFATc1 transcription and its osteoclastogenic capacity while its depletion has no effect on the bone resorptive cell. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJBMR Plus
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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