The Journal of biological chemistry

The multifunctional protein fused in sarcoma (FUS) is a coactivator of microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF).

PMID 24257758


The microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) is required for terminal osteoclast differentiation and is a signaling effector engaged by macrophage colony-stimulating factor 1 (CSF-1) and receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand (RANKL). MITF exerts its regulatory functions through its association with cofactors. Discovering the identity of its various partners will provide insights into the mechanisms governing gene expression during osteoclastogenesis. Here, we demonstrate that the proto-oncogene fused in sarcoma (FUS), the chromatin remodeling ATPase BRG1, and MITF form a trimeric complex that is regulated by phosphorylation of MITF at Ser-307 by p38 MAPK during osteoclast differentiation. FUS was recruited to MITF target gene promoters Acp5 and Ctsk during osteoclast differentiation, and FUS knockdown abolished efficient transcription of Acp5 and Ctsk. Furthermore, sumoylation of MITF at Lys-316, known to negatively regulate MITF transcriptional activity, inhibited MITF interactions with FUS and BRG1 in a p38 MAPK phosphorylation-dependent manner. These results demonstrate that FUS is a coregulator of MITF activity and provide new insights into how the RANKL/p38 MAPK signaling nexus controls gene expression in osteoclasts.