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Downregulation of protein kinase CK2 activity facilitates tumor necrosis factor-?-mediated chondrocyte death through apoptosis and autophagy.

ABSTRACT: Despite the numerous studies of protein kinase CK2, little progress has been made in understanding its function in chondrocyte death. Our previous study first demonstrated that CK2 is involved in apoptosis of rat articular chondrocytes. Recent studies have suggested that CK2 downregulation is associated with aging. Thus examining the involvement of CK2 downregulation in chondrocyte death is an urgently required task. We undertook this study to examine whether CK2 downregulation modulates chondrocyte death. We first measured CK2 activity in articular chondrocytes of 6-, 21- and 30-month-old rats. Noticeably, CK2 activity was downregulated in chondrocytes with advancing age. To build an in vitro experimental system for simulating tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-?-induced cell death in aged chondrocytes with decreased CK2 activity, chondrocytes were co-treated with CK2 inhibitors and TNF-?. Viability assay demonstrated that CK2 inhibitors facilitated TNF-?-mediated chondrocyte death. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, nuclear staining, flow cytometry, TUNEL staining, confocal microscopy, western blot and transmission electron microscopy were conducted to assess cell death modes. The results of multiple assays showed that this cell death was mediated by apoptosis. Importantly, autophagy was also involved in this process, as supported by the appearance of a punctuate LC3 pattern and autophagic vacuoles. The inhibition of autophagy by silencing of autophage-related genes 5 and 7 as well as by 3-methyladenine treatment protected chondrocytes against cell death and caspase activation, indicating that autophagy led to the induction of apoptosis. Autophagic cells were observed in cartilage obtained from osteoarthritis (OA) model rats and human OA patients. Our findings indicate that CK2 down regulation facilitates TNF-?-mediated chondrocyte death through apoptosis and autophagy. It should be clarified in the future if autophagy observed is a consequence versus a cause of the degeneration in vivo.


PROVIDER: S-EPMC3084779 | BioStudies | 2011-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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