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Cranial neural crest cells are a multipotent cell population that generate all the elements of the pharyngeal cartilage with differentiation into chondrocytes tightly regulated by temporal intracellular and extracellular cues. Here, we demonstrate a novel role for miR-27, a highly enriched microRNA in the pharyngeal arches, as a positive regulator of chondrogenesis. Knock down of miR-27 led to nearly complete loss of pharyngeal cartilage by attenuating proliferation and blocking differentiation of pre-chondrogenic cells. Focal adhesion kinase (FAK) is a key regulator in integrin-mediated extracellular matrix (ECM) adhesion and has been proposed to function as a negative regulator of chondrogenesis. We show that FAK is downregulated in the pharyngeal arches during chondrogenesis and is a direct target of miR-27. Suppressing the accumulation of FAK in miR-27 morphants partially rescued the severe pharyngeal cartilage defects observed upon knock down of miR-27. These data support a crucial role for miR-27 in promoting chondrogenic differentiation in the pharyngeal arches through regulation of FAK.
Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Aberrant fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3) signaling disrupts chondrocyte proliferation and growth plate size and architecture, leading to various chondrodysplasias or bone overgrowth. These observations suggest that the duration, intensity and cellular context of FGFR signaling during growth plate chondrocyte maturation require tight, regulated control for proper bone elongation. However, the machinery fine-tuning FGFR signaling in chondrocytes is incompletely defined. We report here that neurofibromin, a Ras-GAP encoded by Nf1, has an overlapping expression pattern with FGFR1 and FGFR3 in prehypertrophic chondrocytes, and with FGFR1 in hypertrophic chondrocytes during endochondral ossification. Based on previous evidence that neurofibromin inhibits Ras-ERK signaling in chondrocytes and phenotypic analogies between mice with constitutive FGFR1 activation and Nf1 deficiency in Col2a1-positive chondrocytes, we asked whether neurofibromin is required to control FGFR1-Ras-ERK signaling in maturing chondrocytes in vivo. Genetic Nf1 ablation in Fgfr1-deficient chondrocytes reactivated Ras-ERK1/2 signaling in hypertrophic chondrocytes and reversed the expansion of the hypertrophic zone observed in mice lacking Fgfr1 in Col2a1-positive chondrocytes. Histomorphometric and gene expression analyses suggested that neurofibromin, by inhibiting Rankl expression, attenuates pro-osteoclastogenic FGFR1 signaling in hypertrophic chondrocytes. We also provide evidence suggesting that neurofibromin in prehypertrophic chondrocytes, downstream of FGFRs and via an indirect mechanism, is required for normal extension and organization of proliferative columns. Collectively, this study indicates that FGFR signaling provides an important input into the Ras-Raf-MEK-ERK1/2 signaling axis in chondrocytes, and that this input is differentially regulated during chondrocyte maturation by a complex intracellular machinery, of which neurofibromin is a critical component.
© The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The severe defects in growth plate development caused by chondrocyte extracellular signal-regulated protein kinases 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) gain or loss-of-function suggest that tight spatial and temporal regulation of mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling is necessary to achieve harmonious growth plate elongation and structure. We provide here evidence that neurofibromin, via its Ras guanosine triphosphatase -activating activity, controls ERK1/2-dependent fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) signaling in chondrocytes. We show first that neurofibromin is expressed in FGFR-positive prehypertrophic and hypertrophic chondrocytes during growth plate endochondral ossification. Using mice lacking neurofibromin 1 (Nf1) in type II collagen-expressing cells, (Nf1col2(-/-) mutant mice), we then show that lack of neurofibromin in post-mitotic chondrocytes triggers a number of phenotypes reminiscent of the ones observed in mice characterized by FGFR gain-of-function mutations. Those include dwarfism, constitutive ERK1/2 activation, strongly reduced Ihh expression and decreased chondrocyte proliferation and maturation, increased chondrocytic expression of Rankl, matrix metalloproteinase 9 (Mmp9) and Mmp13 and enhanced growth plate osteoclastogenesis, as well as increased sensitivity to caspase-9 mediated apoptosis. Using wildtype (WT) and Nf1(-/-) chondrocyte cultures in vitro, we show that FGF2 pulse-stimulation triggers rapid ERK1/2 phosphorylation in both genotypes, but that return to the basal level is delayed in Nf1(-/-) chondrocytes. Importantly, in vivo ERK1/2 inhibition by daily injection of a recombinant form of C-type natriuretic peptide to post-natal pups for 18 days was able to correct the short stature of Nf1col2(-/-) mice. Together, these results underscore the requirement of neurofibromin and ERK1/2 for normal endochondral bone formation and support the notion that neurofibromin, by restraining RAS-ERK1/2 signaling, is a negative regulator of FGFR signaling in differentiating chondrocytes.
Sonic hedgehog (Shh) signal, mediated by the Gli family of transcription factors, plays an essential role in the growth and patterning of the limb. Through analysis of the early limb bud transcriptome, we identified a posteriorly-enriched gene, Hyaluronic Acid Synthase 2 (Has2), which encodes a key enzyme for the synthesis of hyaluronan (HA), as a direct target of Gli transcriptional regulation during early mouse limb development. Has2 expression in the limb bud is lost in Shh null and expanded anteriorly in Gli3 mutants. We identified an ∼3kb Has2 promoter fragment that contains two strong Gli-binding consensus sequences, and mutation of either site abrogated the ability of Gli1 to activate Has2 promoter in a cell-based assay. Additionally, this promoter fragment is sufficient to direct expression of a reporter gene in the posterior limb mesenchyme. Chromatin immunoprecipitation of DNA-Gli3 protein complexes from limb buds indicated that Gli3 strongly binds to the Has2 promoter region, suggesting that Has2 is a direct transcriptional target of the Shh signaling pathway. We also showed that Has2 conditional mutant (Has2cko) hindlimbs display digit-specific patterning defects with longitudinally shifted phalangeal joints and impaired chondrogenesis. Has2cko limbs show less capacity for mesenchymal condensation with mislocalized distributions of chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs), aggrecan and link protein. Has2cko limb phenotype displays striking resemblance to mutants with defective chondroitin sulfation suggesting tight developmental control of HA on CSPG function. Together, our study identifies Has2 as a novel downstream target of Shh signaling required for joint patterning and chondrogenesis.
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Protein transport from endoplasmic reticulum (ER) to Golgi is primarily conducted by coated vesicular carriers such as COPII. Here, we describe zebrafish bulldog mutations that disrupt the function of the cargo adaptor Sec24D, an integral component of the COPII complex. We show that Sec24D is essential for secretion of cartilage matrix proteins, whereas the preceding development of craniofacial primordia and pre-chondrogenic condensations does not depend on this isoform. Bulldog chondrocytes fail to secrete type II collagen and matrilin to extracellular matrix (ECM), but membrane bound receptor beta1-Integrin and Cadherins appear to leave ER in Sec24D-independent fashion. Consequently, Sec24D-deficient cells accumulate proteins in the distended ER, although a subset of ER compartments and Golgi complexes as visualized by electron microscopy and NBD C(6)-ceramide staining appear functional. Consistent with the backlog of proteins in the ER, chondrocytes activate the ER stress response machinery and significantly upregulate BiP transcription. Failure of ECM secretion hinders chondroblast intercalations thus resulting in small and malformed cartilages and severe craniofacial dysmorphology. This defect is specific to Sec24D mutants since knockdown of Sec24C, a close paralog of Sec24D, does not result in craniofacial cartilage dysmorphology. However, craniofacial development in double Sec24C/Sec24D-deficient animals is arrested earlier than in bulldog/sec24d, suggesting that Sec24C can compensate for loss of Sec24D at initial stages of chondrogenesis, but Sec24D is indispensable for chondrocyte maturation. Our study presents the first developmental perspective on Sec24D function and establishes Sec24D as a strong candidate for cartilage maintenance diseases and craniofacial birth defects.
The zebrafish mutation mother superior (mosm188) leads to a depletion of neural crest (NC) derivatives including the craniofacial cartilage skeleton, the peripheral nervous system (sympathetic neurons, dorsal root ganglia, enteric neurons), and pigment cells. The loss of derivatives is preceded by a reduction in NC-expressed transcription factors, snail1b, sox9b, sox10, and a specific loss of foxd3 expression in NC progenitor cells. We employed genetic linkage analysis and physical mapping to place the mosm188 mutation on zebrafish chromosome 6 in the vicinity of the foxd3 gene. Furthermore, we found that mosm188 does not complement the sym1/foxd3 mutation, indicating that mosm188 resides within the foxd3 locus. Injection of PAC clones containing the foxd3 gene into mosm188 embryos restored foxd3 expression in NC progenitors and suppressed the mosm188 phenotype. However, sequencing the foxd3 transcribed area in mosm188 embryos did not reveal nucleotide changes segregating with the mosm188 phenotype, implying that the mutation most likely resides outside the foxd3-coding region. Based on these findings, we propose that the mosm188 mutation perturbs a NC-specific foxd3 regulatory element. Further analysis of mosm188 mutants and foxd3 morphants revealed that NC cells are initially formed, suggesting that foxd3 function is required to maintain the pool of NC progenitors.
Copyright (c) 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
UNLABELLED - A novel role for IGF-I in MSC chondrogenesis was determined. IGF-I effects were evaluated in the presence or absence of TGF-beta signaling by conditionally inactivating the TGF-beta type II receptor. We found that IGF-I had potent chondroinductive actions on MSCs. IGF-I effects were independent from and additive to TGF-beta.
INTRODUCTION - Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can be isolated from adult bone marrow (BM), expanded, and differentiated into several cell types, including chondrocytes. The role of IGF-I in the chondrogenic potential of MSCs is poorly understood. TGF-beta induces MSC chondrogenic differentiation, although its actions are not well defined. The aim of our study was to define the biological role of IGF-I on proliferation, chondrogenic condensation, apoptosis, and differentiation of MSCs into chondrocytes, alone or in combination with TGF-beta and in the presence or absence of TGF-beta signaling.
MATERIALS AND METHODS - Mononuclear adherent stem cells were isolated from mouse BM. Chondrogenic differentiation was induced by culturing high-density MSC pellets in serum- and insulin-free defined medium up to 7 days, with or without IGF-I and/or TGF-beta. We measured thymidine incorporation and stained 2-day-old pellets with TUNEL, cleaved caspase-3, peanut-agglutinin, and N-cadherin. Seven-day-old pellets were measured in size, stained for proteoglycan synthesis, and analyzed for the expression of collagen II and Sox-9 by quantitative real time PCR. We obtained MSCs from mice in which green fluorescent protein (GFP) was under the Collagen2 promoter and determined GFP expression by confocal microscopy. We conditionally inactivated the TGF-beta type II receptor (TbetaRII) in MSCs using a cre-lox system, generating TbetaRII knockout MSCs (RIIKO-MSCs).
RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS - IGF-I modulated MSC chondrogenesis by stimulating proliferation, regulating cell apoptosis, and inducing expression of chondrocyte markers. IGF-I chondroinductive actions were equally potent to TGF-beta1, and the two growth factors had additive effects. Using RIIKO-MSCs, we showed that IGF-I chondrogenic actions are independent from the TGF-beta signaling. We found that the extracellular signal-related kinase 1/2 mitogen-activated protein kinase (Erk1/2 MAPK) pathway mediated the TGF-beta1 mitogenic response and in part the IGF-I proliferative action. Our data, by showing the role of IGF-I and TGF-beta1 in the critical steps of MSC chondrogenesis, provide critical information to optimize the therapeutic use of MSCs in cartilage disorders.