Abnormal chondrocyte apoptosis in the cartilage growth plate is influenced by genetic background and deletion of CHOP in a targeted mouse model of pseudoachondroplasia.
ABSTRACT: Pseudoachondroplasia (PSACH) is an autosomal dominant skeletal dysplasia caused by mutations in cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP) and characterised by short limbed dwarfism and early onset osteoarthritis. Mouse models of PSACH show variable retention of mutant COMP in the ER of chondrocytes, however, in each case a different stress pathway is activated and the underlying disease mechanisms remain largely unknown. T585M COMP mutant mice are a model of moderate PSACH and demonstrate a mild ER stress response. Although mutant COMP is not retained in significant quantities within the ER of chondrocytes, both BiP and the pro-apoptotic ER stress-related transcription factor CHOP are mildly elevated, whilst bcl-2 levels are decreased, resulting in increased and spatially dysregulated chondrocyte apoptosis. To determine whether the abnormal chondrocyte apoptosis observed in the growth plate of mutant mice is CHOP-mediated, we bred T585M COMP mutant mice with CHOP-null mice to homozygosity, and analysed the resulting phenotype. Although abnormal apoptosis was alleviated in the resting zone following CHOP deletion, the mutant growth plates were generally more disorganised. Furthermore, the bone lengths of COMP mutant CHOP null mice were significantly shorter at 9 weeks of age when compared to the COMP mutant mice, including a significant difference in the skull length. Overall, these data demonstrate that CHOP-mediated apoptosis is an early event in the pathobiology of PSACH and suggest that the lack of CHOP, in conjunction with a COMP mutation, may lead to aggravation of the skeletal phenotype via a potentially synergistic effect on endochondral ossification.
Project description:Pseudoachondroplasia (PSACH) results from mutations in cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP) and the p.D469del mutation within the type III repeats of COMP accounts for approximately 30% of PSACH. To determine disease mechanisms of PSACH in vivo, we introduced the Comp D469del mutation into the mouse genome. Mutant animals were normal at birth but grew slower than their wild-type littermates and developed short-limb dwarfism. In the growth plates of mutant mice chondrocyte columns were reduced in number and poorly organized, while mutant COMP was retained within the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) of cells. Chondrocyte proliferation was reduced and apoptosis was both increased and spatially dysregulated. Previous studies on COMP mutations have shown mutant COMP is co-localized with chaperone proteins, and we have reported an unfolded protein response (UPR) in mouse models of PSACH-MED (multiple epiphyseal dysplasia) harboring mutations in Comp (T585M) and Matn3, Comp etc (V194D). However, we found no evidence of UPR in this mouse model of PSACH. In contrast, microarray analysis identified expression changes in groups of genes implicated in oxidative stress, cell cycle regulation, and apoptosis, which is consistent with the chondrocyte pathology. Overall, these data suggest that a novel form of chondrocyte stress triggered by the expression of mutant COMP is central to the pathogenesis of PSACH.
Project description:Mutations in COMP (cartilage oligomeric matrix protein) cause severe long bone shortening in mice and humans. Previously, we showed that massive accumulation of misfolded COMP in the ER of growth plate chondrocytes in our MT-COMP mouse model of pseudoachondroplasia (PSACH) causes premature chondrocyte death and loss of linear growth. Premature chondrocyte death results from activation of oxidative stress and inflammation through the CHOP-ER pathway and is reduced by removing CHOP or by anti-inflammatory or antioxidant therapies. Although the mutant COMP chondrocyte pathologic mechanism is now recognized, the effect of mutant COMP on bone quality and joint health (laxity) is largely unknown. Applying multiple analytic approaches, we describe a novel mechanism by which the deleterious consequences of mutant COMP retention results in upregulation of miR-223 disturbing the adipogenesis - osteogenesis balance. This results in reduction in bone mineral density, bone quality, mechanical strength and subchondral bone thickness. These, in addition to abnormal patterns of ossification at the ends of the femoral bones likely contribute to precocious osteoarthritis (OA) of the hips and knees in the MT-COMP mouse and PSACH. Moreover, joint laxity is compromised by abnormally thin ligaments. Altogether, these novel findings align with the PSACH phenotype of delayed ossification and bone age, extreme joint laxity and joint erosion, and extend our understanding of the underlying processes that affect bone in PSACH. These results introduce a novel finding that miR-223 is involved in the ossification defect in MT-COMP mice making it a therapeutic target.
Project description:Pseudoachondroplasia (PSACH), a severe short-limb dwarfing condition, results from mutations that cause misfolding of the cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP). Accumulated COMP in growth plate chondrocytes activates endoplasmic reticulum stress, leading to inflammation and chondrocyte death. Using a MT-COMP mouse model of PSACH that recapitulates the molecular and clinical PSACH phenotype, we previously reported that oxidative stress and inflammation play important and unappreciated roles in PSACH pathology. In this study, we assessed the ability of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents to affect skeletal and cellular pathology in our mouse model of PSACH. Treatment of MT-COMP mice with aspirin or resveratrol from birth to P28 decreased mutant COMP intracellular retention and chondrocyte cell death, and restored chondrocyte proliferation. Inflammatory markers associated with cartilage degradation and eosinophils were present in the joints of untreated juvenile MT-COMP mice, but were undetectable in treated mice. Most importantly, these treatments resulted in significantly increased femur length. This is the first and only therapeutic approach shown to mitigate both the chondrocyte and long-bone pathology of PSACH in a mouse model and suggests that reducing inflammation and oxidative stress early in the disease process may be a novel approach to treat this disorder.
Project description:Pseudoachondroplasia (PSACH) is one of the more common skeletal dysplasias and results from mutations in cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP). Most COMP mutations identified to date cluster in the TSP3 repeat region of COMP and the mutant protein is retained in the rough endoplasmic reticulum (rER) of chondrocytes and may result in increased cell death. In contrast, the pathomolecular mechanism of PSACH resulting from C-terminal domain COMP mutations remain largely unknown. This study describes the generation and analysis of a murine model of mild PSACH resulting from a p.Thr583Met mutation in the C-terminal globular domain (CTD) of COMP. Mutant animals are normal at birth, but grow slower than their wild-type littermates and by 9 weeks of age they have mild short-limb dwarfism. Furthermore, by 16 months of age mutant animals exhibit severe degeneration of articular cartilage, which is consistent with early onset osteoarthritis seen in PSACH patients. In the growth plates of mutant mice the chondrocyte columns are sparser and poorly organized. Mutant COMP is secreted into the extracellular matrix, but its localization is disrupted along with the distribution of several COMP-binding proteins. Although mutant COMP is not retained within the rER there is an unfolded protein/cell stress response and chondrocyte proliferation is significantly reduced, while apoptosis is both increased and spatially dysregulated. Overall, these data suggests a mutation in the CTD of COMP exerts a dominant-negative effect on both intra- and extracellular processes. This ultimately affects the morphology and proliferation of growth plate chondrocytes, eventually leading to chondrodysplasia and reduced long bone growth.
Project description:Lamellar inclusions of the rough endoplasmic reticulum in growth plate chondrocytes, first identified (1972) in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Iowa, has become the cytochemical hallmark for the pseudoachondroplastic dysplasia (PSACH) phenotype, linking an endoplasmic reticulum storage disorder with the osteochondrodysplasia. Since this original observation, great advances have been made, leading to the molecular understanding of this altered longitudinal bone growth anomaly. A PSACH canine model suggested that abatement of cumulative vertical growth of growth plate chondrocytes seen in PSACH results from (1) altered extracellular matrix constraints for horizontal growth and (2) uncoupling of endochondral and perichondral growth that causes metaphyseal flaring. PSACH, an autosomal dominant disease, is linked to mutation of the cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP) gene. Amino acid substitutions, deletions, or additions is proposed to alter COMP structure that cause its retention in the rough endoplasmic reticulum of growth plate chondrocytes, leading to (1) compositional and structural change of the extracellular matrix, and (2) altered cellular proliferation and volume expansion. Normal growth and development occurs in COMP gene knockout mice that do not synthesis COMP, demonstrating that a mutant COMP, not absence of COMP, is required for the PSACH phenotype. The mechanism by which mutant COMP induces a PSACH phenotype remains to be elucidated. At the University of Iowa a cell culture system has been developed whereby mutant COMP transgenes are introduced into chondrocytes and the expressed product COMP is retained in the endoplasmic reticulum. This readily manipulated system makes it possible to decipher systematically the system's cellular secretory processing pathway, in order to clarify the mechanism(s) by which the mutant COMP is retained within the endoplasmic reticulum. Concurrent with this is the development of transgenic mice expressing the mutant COMP used in the cell culture system. This will make it possible to establish that expression of a human PSACH-linked mutant COMP will produce a PSACH phenotype. A PSACH animal model will provide a means to characterize the mechanism of altered longitudinal bone growth and to test gene therapy approaches for correcting the anomaly.
Project description:Dominant-negative mutations in the homopentameric extracellular matrix glycoprotein cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP) result in inappropriate intracellular retention of misfolded COMP in the rough endoplasmic reticulum of chondrocytes, causing chondrocyte cell death, which leads to two skeletal dysplasias: pseudoachondroplasia (PSACH) and multiple epiphyseal dysplasia (EDM1). COMP null mice show no adverse effects on normal bone development and growth, suggesting a possible therapy involving removal of COMP mRNA. The goal of this study was to assess the ability of a hammerhead ribozyme (Ribo56, designed against the D469del mutation) to reduce COMP mRNA expression. In COS7 cells transfected with plasmids that overexpress wild-type or mutant COMP mRNA and Ribo56, the ribozyme reduced overexpressed normal COMP mRNA by 46% and mutant COMP mRNA by 56% in a dose-dependent manner. Surprisingly, the use of recombinant adenoviruses to deliver wild-type or mutant COMP mRNA and Ribo56 simultaneously into COS7 cells proved problematic for the activity of the ribozyme to reduce COMP expression. However, in normal human costochondral cells (hCCCs) infected only with adenoviruses expressing Ribo56, expression of endogenous wild-type COMP mRNA was reduced in a dose-dependent manner by 50%. In chondrocytes that contain heterozygous COMP mutations (D469del, G427E and D511Y) that cause PSACH, Ribo56 was more effective at reducing COMP mRNA (up to 70%). These results indicate that Ribo56 is effective at reducing mutant and wild-type COMP levels in cells and suggests a possible mode of therapy to reduce the mutant protein load.
Project description:Mutations in genes encoding cartilage oligomeric matrix protein and matrilin-3 cause a spectrum of chondrodysplasias called multiple epiphyseal dysplasia (MED) and pseudoachondroplasia (PSACH). The majority of these diseases feature classical endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and activation of the unfolded protein response (UPR) as a result of misfolding of the mutant protein. However, the importance and the pathological contribution of ER stress in the disease pathogenesis are unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate the generic role of ER stress and the UPR in the pathogenesis of these diseases. A transgenic mouse line (ColIITgcog) was generated using the collagen II promoter to drive expression of an ER stress-inducing protein (Tgcog) in chondrocytes. The skeletal and histological phenotypes of these ColIITgcog mice were characterised. The expression and intracellular retention of Tgcog induced ER stress and activated the UPR as characterised by increased BiP expression, phosphorylation of eIF2? and spliced Xbp1. ColIITgcog mice exhibited decreased long bone growth and decreased chondrocyte proliferation rate. However, there was no disruption of chondrocyte morphology or growth plate architecture and perturbations in apoptosis were not apparent. Our data demonstrate that the targeted induction of ER stress in chondrocytes was sufficient to reduce the rate of bone growth, a key clinical feature associated with MED and PSACH, in the absence of any growth plate dysplasia. This study establishes that classical ER stress is a pathogenic factor that contributes to the disease mechanism of MED and PSACH. However, not all the pathological features of MED and PSACH were recapitulated, suggesting that a combination of intra- and extra-cellular factors are likely to be responsible for the disease pathology as a whole.
Project description:Pseudoachondroplasia (PSACH) is an autosomal dominant osteochondrodysplasia caused by mutations in the gene encoding cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP). Accurate clinical diagnosis of PSACH is sometimes difficult. Here, we identified a novel COMP mutation (c.1675G>A, p.Glu559Lys) in a Chinese PSACH family. We detected the plasma levels of COMP and type II collagen (CTX-II) in the four affected individuals. The results showed the levels of plasma COMP significantly decreased and plasma CTX-II significantly increased in the three PSACH patients with COMP mutation. However, both plasma levels of COMP and CTX-II were not to have found significant difference between the presymptomatic carrier and the age-matched subjects. In vitro analysis and immunofluorescence displayed wild type COMP homogenously expressed in cytoplasm, but mutant proteins were irregularly accumulated inside the HEK-293 cells. Western blot revealed that the quantity of the mutant COMP was more compared to wild type COMP in cells after transfection for 12 hours and 24 hours. Subsequently, 3D structural analysis showed three changes have taken place in secondary structure of the mutant COMP. In conclusion, the novel mutation of COMP may result in intracellular accumulation of the mutant protein. Decreased plasma COMP and increased plasma CTX-II may potentially serve as diagnostic markers of PSACH but may not be applicable in the presymptomatic carrier.
Project description:Pseudoachondroplasia (PSACH) and multiple epiphyseal dysplasia (MED) are relatively common skeletal dysplasias belonging to the same bone dysplasia family. PSACH is characterized by generalized epi-metaphyseal dysplasia, short-limbed dwarfism, joint laxity and early onset osteoarthritis. MED is a milder disease with radiographic features often restricted to the epiphyses of the long bones. PSACH and some forms of MED result from mutations in cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP), a pentameric glycoprotein found in cartilage, tendon, ligament and muscle. PSACH-MED patients often have a mild myopathy characterized by mildly increased plasma creatine kinase levels, a variation in myofibre size and/or small atrophic fibres. In some instances, patients are referred to neuromuscular clinics prior to the diagnosis of an underlying skeletal dysplasia; however, the myopathy associated with PSACH-MED has not previously been studied. In this study, we present a detailed study of skeletal muscle, tendon and ligament from a mouse model of mild PSACH harbouring a COMP mutation. Mutant mice exhibited a progressive muscle weakness associated with an increased number of muscle fibres with central nuclei at the perimysium and at the myotendinous junction. Furthermore, the distribution of collagen fibril diameters in the mutant tendons and ligaments was altered towards thicker collagen fibrils, and the tendons became more lax in cyclic strain tests. We hypothesize that the myopathy in PSACH-MED originates from an underlying tendon and ligament pathology that is a direct result of structural abnormalities to the collagen fibril architecture. This is the first comprehensive characterization of the musculoskeletal phenotype of PSACH-MED and is directly relevant to the clinical management of these patients.
Project description:Mutations in the cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP) gene cause both pseudoachondroplasia (PSACH) and multiple epiphyseal dysplasia (MED). Most mutations in COMP are located in the region encoding type 3 thrombospondin like domain (TSP3D). We report two Japanese boys with PSACH who had different novel in-frame deletions in TSP3D. The result recapitulates previous reports in that the in-frame deletions in TSP3D preferentially caused PSACH rather than MED.