Involvement of the nuclear matrix in the control of skeletal genes: The NMP1 (YY1), NMP2 (Cbfa1), and NMP4 (Nmp4/CIZ) transcription factors

Joseph P. Bidwell, Kitti Torrungruang, Marta Alvarez, Simon J. Rhodes, Rita Shah, Daniel R. Jones, Kanokwan Charoonpatrapong, Janet M. Hock, Andrew J. Watt

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

25 Scopus citations


The functional role of the osteoblast nuclear matrix has been a matter of supposition. Its presumed function as an architectural agent of transcription derives primarily from the low solubility of nuclear matrix proteins and their typical localization into discrete subnuclear domains. In addressing how the nuclear matrix regulates skeletal genes, the authors compare Nmp4, Cbfa1, and YY1 for the purpose of profiling osteoblast nuclear matrix transcription factors. All three proteins contribute to the transcription of ECM genes and partition into the osteoblast nuclear matrix via a nuclear matrix targeting domain. The authors propose that osteoblast nuclear matrix transcription factors involved in ECM regulation generally have the capacity to alter DNA geometry and reciprocally respond to DNA as an allosteric ligand. This may allow these proteins to adapt to the local nuclear architecture and generate the pattern of regulation specified by that architecture via unmasking of the appropriate transactivation domains. Osteoblast nuclear matrix transcription factors may also act as transcriptional adaptor molecules by supporting the formation of higher order protein complexes along target gene promoters. The genes encoding all three proteins considered here have trinucleotide repeat domains, although the significance of this is unclear. There is no canonical nuclear matrix binding motif, but finger-like structures may be suited for anchoring proteins to discrete subnuclear domains. Finally, the ability to leave the osteoblast nuclear matrix may be as important to the function of some nuclear matrix transcription factors as their association with this subcompartment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-297
Number of pages19
JournalCritical Reviews in Eukaryotic Gene Expression
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001


  • Bone
  • Cbfa1
  • Nmp4
  • Nuclear matrix
  • YY1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

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