Altered responsiveness to TGF-? results in reduced Papss2 expression and alterations in the biomechanical properties of mouse articular cartilage.
ABSTRACT: Previous studies have indicated that transforming growth factor ? (TGF-?) signaling has a critical role in cartilage homeostasis and repair, yet the mechanisms of TGF-?'s chondroprotective effects are not known. Our objective in this study was to identify downstream targets of TGF-? that could act to maintain biochemical and biomechanical properties of cartilage.Tibial joints from 20-week-old mice that express a dominant-negative mutation of the TGF-? type II receptor (DNIIR) were graded histologically for osteoarthritic changes and tested by indentation to evaluate their mechanical properties. To identify gene targets of TGF-?, microarray analysis was performed using bovine articular chondrocytes grown in micromass culture that were either treated with TGF-? or left untreated. Phosphoadenosine phosphosynthetase 2 (PAPSS2) was identified as a TGF-?-responsive gene. Papss2 expression is crucial for proper sulfation of cartilage matrix, and its deficiency causes skeletal defects in mice and humans that overlap with those seen in mice with mutations in TGF-?-signaling genes. Regulation of Papss2 was verified by real time RT-PCR and Western blot analyses. Alterations in sulfation of glycosaminoglycans were analyzed by critical electrolyte concentration and Alcian blue staining and immunofluorescence for chondroitin-4-sulfate, unsulfated chondroitin and the aggrecan core protein.DNIIR mutants showed reduced mechanical properties and osteoarthritis-like changes when compared to wild-type control mice. Microarray analysis identified a group of genes encoding matrix-modifying enzymes that were regulated by TGF-?. Papss2 was upregulated in bovine articular chondrocytes after treatment with TGF-? and downregulated in cartilage from DNIIR mice. Articular cartilage in DNIIR mice demonstrated reduced Alcian blue staining at critical electrolyte concentrations and reduced chondroitin-4-sulfate staining. Staining for unsulfated chondroitin sulfate was increased, whereas staining for the aggrecan core protein was comparable in DNIIR and wild-type mice.TGF-? maintains biomechanical properties and regulates expression of Papss2 and sulfation of glycosaminoglycans in mouse articular cartilage.
Project description:We previously identified 3'-phosphoadenosine 5'-phosphosulfate synthase 2 (PAPSS2) as a transcriptional target of transforming growth factor ? (TGF-?) in chondrocytes. PAPSS2 is required for proper sulfation of proteoglycans in cartilage. Defective sulfation in the matrix results in alterations in mechanical properties of the cartilage that would be expected to result in degeneration. The objective of this study was to identify factors that regulate PAPSS2 expression and compare to a known TGF-? responsive gene, proteoglycan 4/lubricin (PRG4). In this study, TGF-?-mediated regulation of SOX9 was characterized, and the involvement of SOX9 in regulation of PAPSS2 mRNA was investigated.Primary bovine articular chondrocytes grown in micromass culture and ATDC5 cells were used as the model system. Adenoviruses were used to express SOX9 and SMAD3. siRNA was used to knock-down Sox9 and Smad3. Western blot and real-time quantitative RT-PCR (qPCR) were used to measure changes in protein and mRNA levels in response to treatment.Over-expression of SOX9 was sufficient to up-regulate PAPSS2 mRNA. TGF-? treatment of SOX9-expressing cells resulted in enhanced up-regulation of PAPSS2 mRNA, suggesting that SOX9 cooperates with TGF-? signaling. Furthermore, Sox9 was required for full TGF-?-mediated induction of Papss2. In contrast, PRG4 was regulated by SMAD3 but not SOX9. SOX9 protein levels were increased after treatment with TGF-?, although SOX9 mRNA was not. SOX9 protein was post-translationally stabilized after treatment with TGF-?.TGF-? stabilizes SOX9 protein, and SOX9 is sufficient and necessary for TGF-?-mediated regulation of PAPSS2 mRNA, providing a novel mechanism for TGF-?-mediated gene regulation in chondrocytes.
Project description:The zinc finger protein Snail is a master regulator of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and a strong inducer of tumor metastasis, yet the signal cascades triggered by Snail have not been completely revealed. Here, we report the discovery of the sulfation program that can be induced by Snail in breast cancer cells, and which plays an essential role in cell migration and metastasis. Specifically, Snail induces the expression of PAPSS2, a gene that encodes a rate-limiting enzyme in sulfation pathway, and VCAN, a gene that encodes the chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan Versican in multiple breast cancer cells. Depletion of PAPSS2 in MCF7 and MDA-MB-231 cells results in reduced cell migration, while overexpression of PAPSS2 promotes cell migration. Moreover, MDA-MB-231-shPAPSS2 cells display a significantly lower rate of lung metastasis and lower number of micrometastatic nodules in nude mice, and conversely, MDA-MB-231-PAPSS2 cells increase lung metastasis. Similarly, depletion of VCAN dampens the cell migration activity induced by Snail or PAPSS2 in MCF 10A cells. Moreover, PAPSS inhibitor sodium chlorate effectively decreases cell migration induced by Snail and PAPSS2. More importantly, the expression of Snail, PAPSS2, and VCAN is positively correlated in breast cancer tissues. Together, these findings are important for understanding the genetic programs that control tumor metastasis and may identify previously undetected therapeutic targets to treat metastatic disease.
Project description:In contrast to the functional role of heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs), the importance of chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs) in modulating signaling pathways involving hedgehog proteins, wingless-related proteins and fibroblast growth factors remains unclear. To elucidate the importance of sulfated CSPGs in signaling paradigms required for endochondral bone formation, the brachymorphic (bm) mouse was used as a model for undersulfated CSPGs. The bm mouse exhibits a postnatal chondrodysplasia caused by a mutation in the phosphoadenosine phosphosulfate (PAPS) synthetase (Papss2) gene, leading to reduced levels of PAPS and undersulfated proteoglycans. Biochemical analysis of the glycosaminoglycan (GAG) content in bm cartilage via sulfate labeling and fluorophore-assisted carbohydrate electrophoresis revealed preferential undersulfation of chondroitin chains (CS) and normal sulfation of heparan sulfate chains. In situ hybridization and immunohistochemical analysis of bm limb growth plates showed diminished Indian hedgehog (Ihh) signaling and abnormal Ihh protein distribution in the extracellular matrix. Consistent with the decrease in hedgehog signaling, BrdU incorporation exhibited a significant reduction in chondrocyte proliferation. Direct measurements of Ihh binding to defined GAG chains demonstrated that Ihh interacts with CS, particularly chondroitin-4-sulfate. Furthermore, co-immunoprecipitation experiments showed that Ihh binds to the major cartilage CSPG aggrecan via its CS chains. Overall, this study demonstrates an important function for CSPGs in modulating Ihh signaling in the developing growth plate, and highlights the importance of carbohydrate sulfation in regulating growth factor signaling.
Project description:The glycosaminoglycan chondroitin sulfate is essential in human health and disease but exactly how sulfation dictates its 3D-structure at the atomic level is unclear. To address this, we have purified homogenous oligosaccharides of unsulfated chondroitin (with and without (15)N-enrichment) and analysed them by high-field NMR to make a comparison published chondroitin sulfate and hyaluronan 3D-structures. The result is the first full assignment of the tetrasaccharide and an experimental 3D-model of the hexasaccharide (PDB code 2KQO). In common with hyaluronan, we confirm that the amide proton is not involved in strong, persistent inter-residue hydrogen bonds. However, in contrast to hyaluronan, a hydrogen bond is not inferred between the hexosamine OH-4 and the glucuronic acid O5 atoms across the beta(1-->3) glycosidic linkage. The unsulfated chondroitin bond geometry differs slightly from hyaluronan by rotation about the beta(1-->3) psi dihedral (as previously predicted by simulation), while the beta(1-->4) linkage is unaffected. Furthermore, comparison shows that this glycosidic linkage geometry is similar in chondroitin-4-sulfate. We therefore hypothesise that both hexosamine OH-4 and OH-6 atoms are solvent exposed in chondroitin, explaining why it is amenable to sulfation and hyaluronan is not, and also that 4-sulfation has little effect on backbone conformation. Our conclusions exemplify the value of the 3D-model presented here and progress our understanding of glycosaminoglycan molecular properties.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Previous studies have shown that Transforming growth factor-? (TGF-?)/TGF?RII-Smad3 signaling is involved in articular cartilage homeostasis. However, the role of TGF-?/ALK5 signaling in articular cartilage homeostasis has not been fully defined. In this study, a combination of in vitro and in vivo approaches was used to elucidate the role of ALK5 signaling in articular cartilage homeostasis and the development of osteoarthritis (OA). DESIGN:Mice with inducible cartilage-specific deletion of Alk5 were generated to assess the role of ALK5 in OA development. Alterations in cartilage structure were evaluated histologically. The expressions of genes associated with articular cartilage homeostasis and TGF-? signaling were analyzed by qRT-PCR, western blotting and immunohistochemistry. The chondrocyte apoptosis was detected by TUNEL staining and immunohistochemistry. In addition, the molecular mechanism underlying the effects of TGF-?/ALK5 signaling on articular cartilage homeostasis was explored by analyzing the TGF-?/ALK5 signaling-induced expression of proteoglycan 4 (PRG4) using specific inhibitors. RESULTS:Postnatal cartilage-specific deletion of Alk5 induced an OA-like phenotype with degradation of articular cartilage, synovial hyperplasia, osteophyte formation, subchondral sclerosis, as well as enhanced chondrocyte apoptosis, overproduction of catabolic factors, and decreased expressions of anabolic factors in chondrocytes. In addition, the expressions of PRG4 mRNA and protein were decreased in Alk5 conditional knockout mice. Furthermore, our results showed, for the first time, that TGF-?/ALK5 signaling regulated PRG4 expression partially through the protein kinase A (PKA)-CREB signaling pathway. CONCLUSIONS:TGF-?/ALK5 signaling maintains articular cartilage homeostasis, in part, by upregulating PRG4 expression through the PKA-CREB signaling pathway in articular chondrocytes.
Project description:Mandibular condylar cartilage (MCC) exhibits dual roles both articular cartilage and growth center. Of many growth factors, TGF-? has been implicated in the growth of articular cartilage including MCC. Recently, Asporin, decoy to TGF-?, was discovered and it blocks TGF-? signaling. Asporin is expressed in a variety of tissues including osteoarthritic articular cartilage, though there was no report of Asporin expression in MCC. In the present study, we investigated the temporal and spatial expression of Asporin in MCC. Gene expression profile of MCC and epiphyseal cartilage in tibia of 5 weeks old ICR mice were firstly compared with microarray analysis using the laser capture microdissected samples. Variance of gene expression was further confirmed by real-time RT-PCR and immunohistochemical staining at 1,3,10, and 20 weeks old. TGF-? and its signaling molecule, phosphorylated Smad-2/3 (p-Smad2/3), were also examined by immunohistochemical staining. Microarray analysis revealed that Asporin was highly expressed in MCC. Real-time RT-PCR analysis confirmed that the fibrous layer of MCC exhibited stable higher Asporin expression at any time points as compared to epiphyseal cartilage. This was also observed in immunohistochemical staining. Deeper layer in MCC augmented Asporin expression with age. Whereas, TGF-? was stably highly observed in the layer. The fibrous layer of MCC exhibited weak staining of p-Smad2/3, though the proliferating layer of MCC was strongly stained as compared to epiphyseal cartilage of tibia at early time point. Consistent with the increase of Asporin expression in the deeper layer of MCC, the intensity of p-Smad-2/3 staining was decreased with age. In conclusion, we discovered that Asporin was stably expressed at the fibrous layer of MCC, which makes it possible to manage both articular cartilage and growth center at the same time.
Project description:Mitogen-activated protein kinases, including c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK), play an important role in the development and function of a large variety of tissues. The skeletal phenotype of JNK1 and JNK2 double-knockout (dKO) mice (JNK1<sup>fl/fl</sup>Col2-Cre/JNK2<sup>-/-</sup>) and control genotypes were analyzed at different embryonic and postnatal stages. JNK1/2 dKO mice displayed a severe scoliotic phenotype beginning during development that was grossly apparent around weaning age. Alcian blue staining at embryonic day 17.5 showed abnormal fusion of the posterior spinal elements. In adult mice, fusion of vertebral bodies and of spinous and transverse processes was noted by micro-computed tomography, Alcian blue/Alizarin red staining, and histology. The long bones developed normally, and histologic sections of growth plate and articular cartilage revealed no significant abnormalities. Histologic sections of the vertebral column at embryonic days 15.5 and 17.5 revealed an abnormal organization of the annulus fibrosus in the dKOs, with chondrocyte-like cells and fusion of dorsal processes. Spinal sections in 10-week-old dKO mice showed replacement of intervertebral disk structures (annulus fibrosus and nucleus pulposus) by cartilage and bone tissues, with cells staining for markers of hypertrophic chondrocytes, including collagen X and runt-related transcription factor 2. These findings demonstrate a requirement for both JNK1 and JNK2 in the normal development of the axial skeleton. Loss of JNK signaling results in abnormal endochondral bone formation and subsequent severe scoliosis.
Project description:Within the crowded and complex environment of the cell, a protein experiences stabilizing excluded-volume effects and destabilizing quinary interactions with other proteins. Which of these prevail, needs to be determined on a case-by-case basis. PAPS synthases are dimeric and bifunctional enzymes, providing activated sulfate in the form of 3'-phosphoadenosine-5'-phosphosulfate (PAPS) for sulfation reactions. The human PAPS synthases PAPSS1 and PAPSS2 differ significantly in their protein stability as PAPSS2 is a naturally fragile protein. PAPS synthases bind a series of nucleotide ligands and some of them markedly stabilize these proteins. PAPS synthases are of biomedical relevance as destabilizing point mutations give rise to several pathologies. Genetic defects in PAPSS2 have been linked to bone and cartilage malformations as well as a steroid sulfation defect. All this makes PAPS synthases ideal to study protein unfolding, ligand binding, and the stabilizing and destabilizing factors in their cellular environment. This review provides an overview on current concepts of protein folding and stability and links this with our current understanding of the different disease mechanisms of PAPSS2-related pathologies with perspectives for future research and application.
Project description:The high-energy sulfate donor 3'-phosphoadenosine-5'-phosphosulfate (PAPS), generated by human PAPS synthase isoforms PAPSS1 and PAPSS2, is required for all human sulfation pathways. Sulfotransferase SULT2A1 uses PAPS for sulfation of the androgen precursor dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), thereby reducing downstream activation of DHEA to active androgens. Human PAPSS2 mutations manifest with undetectable DHEA sulfate, androgen excess, and metabolic disease, suggesting that ubiquitous PAPSS1 cannot compensate for deficient PAPSS2 in supporting DHEA sulfation. In knockdown studies in human adrenocortical NCI-H295R1 cells, we found that PAPSS2, but not PAPSS1, is required for efficient DHEA sulfation. Specific APS kinase activity, the rate-limiting step in PAPS biosynthesis, did not differ between PAPSS1 and PAPSS2. Co-expression of cytoplasmic SULT2A1 with a cytoplasmic PAPSS2 variant supported DHEA sulfation more efficiently than co-expression with nuclear PAPSS2 or nuclear/cytosolic PAPSS1. Proximity ligation assays revealed protein-protein interactions between SULT2A1 and PAPSS2 and, to a lesser extent, PAPSS1. Molecular docking studies showed a putative binding site for SULT2A1 within the PAPSS2 APS kinase domain. Energy-dependent scoring of docking solutions identified the interaction as specific for the PAPSS2 and SULT2A1 isoforms. These findings elucidate the mechanistic basis for the selective requirement for PAPSS2 in human DHEA sulfation.
Project description:BACKGROUND:While bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSC) are established sources for stem cell-based cartilage repair therapy, articular cartilage-derived mesenchymal stem cells from osteoarthritis patients (OA-MSC) are new and potentially attractive candidates. We compared OA-MSC and BMSC in chondrogenic potentials, gene expression, and regulation by miR-365, a mechanical-responsive microRNA in cartilage (Guan et al., FASEB J 25: 4457-4466, 2011). METHODS:To overcome the limited number of OA-MSC, a newly established human OA-MSC cell line (Jayasuriya et al., Sci Rep 8: 7044, 2018) was utilized for analysis and comparison to BMSC. Chondrogenesis was induced by the chondrogenic medium in monolayer cell culture. After chondrogenic induction, chondrogenesis and mineralization were assessed by Alcian blue and Alizarin red staining respectively. MiRNA and mRNA levels were quantified by real-time PCR while protein levels were determined by western blot analysis at different time points. Immunohistochemistry was performed with cartilage-specific miR-365 over-expression transgenic mice. RESULTS:Upon chondrogenic induction, OA-MSC underwent rapid chondrogenesis in comparison to BMSC as shown by Alcian blue staining and activation of ACAN and COL2A1 gene expression. Chondrogenic induction also activated mineralization and the expression of hypertrophic and osteogenic genes in OA-MSC while only hypertrophic genes were activated in BMSC. MiR-365 expression was activated by chondrogenic induction in both OA-MSC and BMSC. Transfection of miR-365 in OA-MSC induced chondrogenic, hypertrophic, and osteogenic genes expression while miR-365 inhibition suppressed the expression of these genes. Over-expression of miR-365 upregulated markers of OA-MSC and hypertrophy and increased OA scores in adult mouse articular cartilage. CONCLUSIONS:Induction of chondrogenesis can activate mineralization, hypertrophic, and osteogenic genes in OA-MSC. MiR-365 appears to be a master regulator of these differentiation processes in OA-MSC during OA pathogenesis. These findings have important implications for cartilage repair therapy using cartilage derived stem cells from OA patients.