The runt locus in Drosophila encodes a nuclear protein involved in embryo segmentation, sex determination/X dosage compensation, and neurogenesis. runt homologues have been identified in higher vertebrates. The encoded proteins share a domain of 128 amino acids called the runt domain. It has been reported that this domain mediates DNA binding and heterodimerization. Here, we analyze runtB expression during chondrocyte differentiation 'in vitro' and 'in vivo.' We have first isolated, from a chondrocyte library, a cDNA clone coding for a runtB chicken homologue and containing a complete open reading frame. The predicted protein product is 84% identical to the mouse PEBP2αB2 isoform. By RT-PCR analysis we have also cloned the chicken cDNA fragment coding for ΔαB2, the exon sequence included in the B1 isoform mRNA. On Northern blot analysis of cultured chondrocytes, runtB mRNA levels increase dramatically with the transition from stage 0 (dedifferentiated) to stages I and II (hypertrophic chondrocytes). Moreover, runt polypeptides were demonstrated in chondrocytes both in vivo and in vitro. These results suggest that runt plays a role in chondrogenic differentiation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology