Journal of bone and mineral research : the official journal of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research

Pannexin 3 is a novel target for Runx2, expressed by osteoblasts and mature growth plate chondrocytes.

PMID 21915903


Pannexins are a class of chordate channel proteins identified by their homology to insect gap junction proteins. The pannexin family consists of three members, Panx1, Panx2, and Panx3, and the role each of these proteins plays in cellular processes is still under investigation. Previous reports of Panx3 expression indicate enrichment in skeletal tissues, so we have further investigated this distribution by surveying the developing mouse embryo with immunofluorescence. High levels of Panx3 were detected in intramembranous craniofacial flat bones, as well as long bones of the appendicular and axial skeleton. This distribution is the result of expression in both osteoblasts and hypertrophic chondrocytes. Furthermore, the Panx3 promoter contains putative binding sites for transcription factors involved in bone formation, and we show that the sequence between bases -275 and -283 is responsive to Runx2 activation. Taken together, our data suggests that Panx3 may serve an important role in bone development, and is a novel target for Runx2-dependent signaling.