Role of Slug transcription factor in human mesenchymal stem cells.
ABSTRACT: The pathways that control mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) differentiation are not well understood, and although some of the involved transcription factors (TFs) have been characterized, the role of others remains unclear. We used human MSCs from tibial plateau (TP) trabecular bone, iliac crest (IC) bone marrow and Wharton's jelly (WJ) umbilical cord demonstrating a variability in their mineral matrix deposition, and in the expression levels of TFs including Runx2, Sox9, Sox5, Sox6, STAT1 and Slug, all involved in the control of osteochondroprogenitors differentiation program. Because we reasoned that the basal expression level of some TFs with crucial role in the control of MSC fate may be correlated with osteogenic potential, we considered the possibility to affect the hMSCs behaviour by using gene silencing approach without exposing cells to induction media. In this study we found that Slug-silenced cells changed in morphology, decreased in their migration ability, increased Sox9 and Sox5 and decreased Sox6 and STAT1 expression. On the contrary, the effect of Slug depletion on Runx2 was influenced by cell type. Interestingly, we demonstrated a direct in vivo regulatory action of Slug by chromatin immunoprecipitation, showing a specific recruitment of this TF in the promoter of Runx2 and Sox9 genes. As a whole, our findings have important potential implication on bone tissue engineering applications, reinforcing the concept that manipulation of specific TF expression levels may elucidate MSC biology and the molecular mechanisms, which promote osteogenic differentiation.
Project description:SOX9 is a transcriptional activator required for chondrogenesis, and SOX5 and SOX6 are closely related DNA-binding proteins that critically enhance its function. We use here genome-wide approaches to gain novel insights into the full spectrum of the target genes and modes of action of this chondrogenic trio. Using the RCS cell line as a faithful model for proliferating/early prehypertrophic growth plate chondrocytes, we uncover that SOX6 and SOX9 bind thousands of genomic sites, frequently and most efficiently near each other. SOX9 recognizes pairs of inverted SOX motifs, whereas SOX6 favors pairs of tandem SOX motifs. The SOX proteins primarily target enhancers. While binding to a small fraction of typical enhancers, they bind multiple sites on almost all super-enhancers (SEs) present in RCS cells. These SEs are predominantly linked to cartilage-specific genes. The SOX proteins effectively work together to activate these SEs and are required for in vivo expression of their associated genes. These genes encode key regulatory factors, including the SOX trio proteins, and all essential cartilage extracellular matrix components. Chst11, Fgfr3, Runx2 and Runx3 are among many other newly identified SOX trio targets. SOX9 and SOX5/SOX6 thus cooperate genome-wide, primarily through SEs, to implement the growth plate chondrocyte differentiation program.
Project description:Transcripts for a new form of Sox5, called L-Sox5, and Sox6 are coexpressed with Sox9 in all chondrogenic sites of mouse embryos. A coiled-coil domain located in the N-terminal part of L-Sox5, and absent in Sox5, showed >90% identity with a similar domain in Sox6 and mediated homodimerization and heterodimerization with Sox6. Dimerization of L-Sox5/Sox6 greatly increased efficiency of binding of the two Sox proteins to DNA containing adjacent HMG sites. L-Sox5, Sox6 and Sox9 cooperatively activated expression of the chondrocyte differentiation marker Col2a1 in 10T1/2 and MC615 cells. A 48 bp chondrocyte-specific enhancer in this gene, which contains several HMG-like sites that are necessary for enhancer activity, bound the three Sox proteins and was cooperatively activated by the three Sox proteins in non-chondrogenic cells. Our data suggest that L-Sox5/Sox6 and Sox9, which belong to two different classes of Sox transcription factors, cooperate with each other in expression of Col2a1 and possibly other genes of the chondrocytic program.
Project description:Estrogen-related receptor alpha (ESRRa) regulates a number of cellular processes including development of bone and muscles. However, direct evidence regarding its involvement in cartilage development remains elusive. In this report, we establish an in vivo role of Esrra in cartilage development during embryogenesis in zebrafish. Gene expression analysis indicates that esrra is expressed in developing pharyngeal arches where genes necessary for cartilage development are also expressed. Loss of function analysis shows that knockdown of esrra impairs expression of genes including sox9, col2a1, sox5, sox6, runx2 and col10a1 thus induces abnormally formed cartilage in pharyngeal arches. Importantly, we identify putative ESRRa binding elements in upstream regions of sox9 to which ESRRa can directly bind, indicating that Esrra may directly regulate sox9 expression. Accordingly, ectopic expression of sox9 rescues defective formation of cartilage induced by the knockdown of esrra. Taken together, our results indicate for the first time that ESRRa is essential for cartilage development by regulating sox9 expression during vertebrate development.
Project description:Chondrocyte differentiation is strictly regulated by various transcription factors, including Runx2 and Runx3; however, the physiological role of Runx1 in chondrocyte differentiation remains unknown. To examine the role of Runx1, we generated mesenchymal-cell-specific and chondrocyte-specific Runx1-deficient mice [Prx1 Runx1(f/f) mice and alpha1(II) Runx1(f/f) mice, respectively] to circumvent the embryonic lethality of Runx1-deficient mice. We then mated these mice with Runx2 mutant mice to obtain mesenchymal-cell-specific or chondrocyte-specific Runx1; Runx2 double-mutant mice [Prx1 DKO mice and alpha1(II) DKO mice, respectively]. Prx1 Runx1(f/f) mice displayed a delay in sternal development and Prx1 DKO mice completely lacked a sternum. By contrast, alpha1(II) Runx1(f/f) mice and alpha1(II) DKO mice did not show any abnormal sternal morphogenesis or chondrocyte differentiation. Notably, Runx1, Runx2 and the Prx1-Cre transgene were co-expressed specifically in the sternum, which explains the observation that the abnormalities were limited to the sternum. Histologically, mesenchymal cells condensed normally in the prospective sternum of Prx1 DKO mice; however, commitment to the chondrocyte lineage, which follows mesenchymal condensation, was significantly impaired. In situ hybridization analyses demonstrated that the expression of alpha1(II) collagen (Col2a1 - Mouse Genome Informatics), Sox5 and Sox6 in the prospective sternum of Prx1 DKO mice was severely attenuated, whereas Sox9 expression was unchanged. Molecular analyses revealed that Runx1 and Runx2 induce the expression of Sox5 and Sox6, which leads to the induction of alpha1(II) collagen expression via the direct regulation of promoter activity. Collectively, these results show that Runx1 and Runx2 cooperatively regulate sternal morphogenesis and the commitment of mesenchymal cells to become chondrocytes through the induction of Sox5 and Sox6.
Project description:Genetic studies and molecular cloning approaches have been successfully used to identify several transcription factors that regulate the numerous stages of cartilage development. Sex-determining region Y (SRY)-box 9 (Sox9) is an essential transcription factor for the initial stage of cartilage development. Sox5 and Sox6 play an important role in the chondrogenic action of Sox9, presumably by defining its cartilage specificity. Several transcription factors have been identified as transcriptional partners for Sox9 during cartilage development. Runt-related transcription factor 2 (Runx2) and Runx3 are necessary for hypertrophy of chondrocytes. CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein ? (C/EBP?) and activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4) function as co-activators for Runx2 during hypertrophy of chondrocytes. In addition, myocyte-enhancer factor 2C (Mef2C) is required for initiation of chondrocyte hypertrophy, presumably by functioning upstream of Runx2. Importantly, the pathogenic roles of several transcription factors in osteoarthritis have been demonstrated based on the similarity of pathological phenomena seen in osteoarthritis with chondrocyte hypertrophy. We discuss the importance of investigating cellular and molecular properties of articular chondrocytes and degradation mechanisms in osteoarthritis, one of the most common cartilage diseases.
Project description:Investigating mesenchymal stromal cell differentiation requires time and multiple samples due to destructive endpoint assays. Osteogenesis of human bone marrow derived mesenchymal stromal cells (hBMSCs) has been widely studied for bone tissue engineering. Recent studies show that the osteogenic differentiation of hBMSCs can be assessed by quantifying the ratio of two important transcription factors (Runx2/Sox9). We demonstrate a method to observe mRNA expression of two genes in individual live cells using fluorescent probes specific for Runx2 and Sox9 mRNA. The changes of mRNA expression in cells can be observed in a non-destructive manner. In addition, the osteogenic hBMSCs can be prospectively identified and obtained based on the relative intracellular fluorescence of Sox9 in relation to Runx2 using fluorescence activated cell sorting. Relatively homogeneous cell populations with high osteogenic potential can be isolated from the original heterogeneous osteogenically induced hBMSCs within the first week of induction. This offers a more detailed analysis of the effectiveness of new therapeutics both at the individual cell level and the response of the population as a whole. By identifying and isolating differentiating cells at early time points, prospective analysis of differentiation is also possible, which will lead to a greater understanding of MSC differentiation.
Project description:Embryogenesis is an intricate process involving multiple genes and pathways. Some of the key transcription factors controlling specific cell types are the Sox trio, namely, Sox5, Sox6, and Sox9, which play crucial roles in organogenesis working in a concerted manner. Much however still needs to be learned about their combinatorial roles during this process. A developmental genomics and systems biology approach offers to complement the reductionist methodology of current developmental biology and provide a more comprehensive and integrated view of the interrelationships of complex regulatory networks that occur during organogenesis. By combining cell type-specific transcriptome analysis and in vivo ChIP-Seq of the Sox trio using mouse embryos, we provide evidence for the direct control of Sox5 and Sox6 by the transcriptional trio in the murine model and by Morpholino knockdown in zebrafish and demonstrate the novel role of Tgfb2, Fbxl18, and Tle3 in formation of Sox5, Sox6, and Sox9 dependent tissues. Concurrently, a complete embryonic gene regulatory network has been generated, identifying a wide repertoire of genes involved and controlled by the Sox trio in the intricate process of normal embryogenesis.
Project description:Two decades after the discovery that heterozygous mutations within and around SOX9 cause campomelic dysplasia, a generalized skeleton malformation syndrome, it is well established that SOX9 is a master transcription factor in chondrocytes. In contrast, the mechanisms whereby translocations in the --350/-50-kb region 5' of SOX9 cause severe disease and whereby SOX9 expression is specified in chondrocytes remain scarcely known. We here screen this upstream region and uncover multiple enhancers that activate Sox9-promoter transgenes in the SOX9 expression domain. Three of them are primarily active in chondrocytes. E250 (located at -250 kb) confines its activity to condensed prechondrocytes, E195 mainly targets proliferating chondrocytes, and E84 is potent in all differentiated chondrocytes. E84 and E195 synergize with E70, previously shown to be active in most Sox9-expressing somatic tissues, including cartilage. While SOX9 protein powerfully activates E70, it does not control E250. It requires its SOX5/SOX6 chondrogenic partners to robustly activate E195 and additional factors to activate E84. Altogether, these results indicate that SOX9 expression in chondrocytes relies on widely spread transcriptional modules whose synergistic and overlapping activities are driven by SOX9, SOX5/SOX6 and other factors. They help elucidate mechanisms underlying campomelic dysplasia and will likely help uncover other disease mechanisms.
Project description:Transgenic mice tagged with EGFP under the control of the endogenous Sox5, Sox6 and Sox9 promoter were used. E13.5 transgenic embryos were enriched for the skeletal elements and FACS was used to isolate the Sox5/6/9-expressing cells which were used for comparative expression profiling between wildtype and knockout. Overall design: Total RNA from sorted cells from Sox9 wildtype (3 biological replicates) and Sox9 chimeric knockout (2 biological replicates) embryos were used for comparative analysis. Each genotype had two technical replicates. Sox6 heterozygotes (4 biological replicates) and Sox5-Sox6 double null (2 biological replicates with 2 technical replicates) embryos at E13.5 were used for comparative analysis.
Project description:Pluripotent mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are bone marrow stromal progenitor cells that can differentiate into osteogenic, chondrogenic, adipogenic, and myogenic lineages. Several signaling pathways have been shown to regulate the lineage commitment and terminal differentiation of MSCs. Here, we conducted a comprehensive analysis of the 14 types of bone morphogenetic protein (BMPs) for their abilities to regulate multilineage specific differentiation of MSCs. We found that most BMPs exhibited distinct abilities to regulate the expression of Runx2, Sox9, MyoD, and PPARgamma2. Further analysis indicated that BMP-2, BMP-4, BMP-6, BMP-7, and BMP-9 effectively induced both adipogenic and osteogenic differentiation in vitro and in vivo. BMP-induced commitment to osteogenic or adipogenic lineage was shown to be mutually exclusive. Overexpression of Runx2 enhanced BMP-induced osteogenic differentiation, whereas knockdown of Runx2 expression diminished BMP-induced bone formation with a decrease in adipocyte accumulation in vivo. Interestingly, overexpression of PPARgamma2 not only promoted adipogenic differentiation, but also enhanced osteogenic differentiation upon BMP-2, BMP-6, and BMP-9 stimulation. Conversely, MSCs with PPARgamma2 knockdown or mouse embryonic fibroblasts derived from PPARgamma2(-/-) mice exhibited a marked decrease in adipogenic differentiation, coupled with reduced osteogenic differentiation and diminished mineralization upon BMP-9 stimulation, suggesting that PPARgamma2 may play a role in BMP-induced osteogenic and adipogenic differentiation. Thus, it is important to understand the molecular mechanism behind BMP-regulated lineage divergence during MSC differentiation, as this knowledge could help us to understand the pathogenesis of skeletal diseases and may lead to the development of strategies for regenerative medicine.