Acute lung injury (ALI) is a major component of multiple organ dysfunction syndrome after hemorrhagic shock (HS) resulting from major surgery and trauma. The increased susceptibility in HS patients to the development of ALI suggests not yet fully elucidated mechanisms that enhance proinflammatory responses and/or suppress anti-inflammatory responses in the lung. Alveolar macrophages (AM?) are at the center of the pathogenesis of ALI after HS. We have previously reported that HS-activated polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNs) interact with macrophages to influence inflammation progress. In this study, we explore a novel function of PMNs regulating AM? anti-inflammatory mechanisms involving autophagy. Using a mouse "two-hit" model of HS/resuscitation followed by intratracheal injection of muramyl dipeptide, we demonstrate that HS initiates high mobility group box 1/TLR4 signaling, which upregulates NOD2 expression in AM? and sensitizes them to subsequent NOD2 ligand muramyl dipeptide to augment lung inflammation. In addition, upregulated NOD2 signaling induces autophagy in AM?, which negatively regulates lung inflammation through feedback suppression of NOD2-RIP2 signaling and inflammasome activation. Importantly, we further demonstrate that HS-activated PMNs that migrate in alveoli counteract the anti-inflammatory effect of autophagy in AM?, possibly through NAD(P)H oxidase-mediated signaling to enhance I-?B kinase ? phosphorylation, NF-?B activation, and nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain protein 3 inflammasome activation, and therefore augment post-HS lung inflammation. These findings explore a previously unidentified complexity in the mechanisms of ALI, which involves cell-cell interaction and receptor cross talk.
Integrin-mediated cell-extracellular matrix (ECM) adhesion is critical for control of intracellular signaling; however, the mechanisms underlying this "outside-in" signaling are incompletely understood. Here we show that depletion of kindlin-2 impairs integrin outside-in signaling. Kindlin-2 is tyrosine-phosphorylated upon cell-ECM adhesion. Furthermore, kindlin-2 binds Src in a cell-ECM adhesion-regulatable fashion. At the molecular level, the kindlin-2·Src interaction is mediated by the kindlin-2 F0 and the Src SH2 and SH3 domains. Src activation increases kindlin-2 tyrosine phosphorylation and the kindlin-2·Src interaction. Conversely, inhibition of Src reduces kindlin-2 tyrosine phosphorylation and diminishes the kindlin-2·Src interaction. Finally, disruption of the kindlin-2·Src interaction, unlike depletion of kindlin-2, impairs neither cell-ECM adhesion nor cell-ECM adhesion-induced focal adhesion kinase Tyr-397 phosphorylation. However, it markedly inhibits cell-ECM adhesion-induced paxillin tyrosine phosphorylation, cell migration, and proliferation. These results suggest that kindlin-2 tyrosine phosphorylation and interaction with Src serve as a regulatable switch downstream of focal adhesion kinase in the integrin outside-in signaling circuit, relaying signals from cell-ECM adhesion to paxillin that control cell migration and proliferation.
Carboxyl terminus of Hsp70-interacting protein (CHIP or STUB1) is an E3 ligase that regulates the stability of several proteins involved in tumor growth and metastasis. However, the role of CHIP in bone growth and bone remodeling in vivo has not been reported. This study was undertaken to investigate the role and mechanism of CHIP in regulation of bone mass and bone remodeling.
Bovine lactoferricin (LfcinB), a multifunctional peptide, was recently demonstrated to be anti-catabolic and anti-inflammatory in human articular cartilage. LfcinB blocks IL-1-mediated proteoglycan depletion, matrix-degrading enzyme expression, and pro-inflammatory mediator induction. LfcinB selectively activates ERK1/2, p38 (but not JNK), and Akt signaling. However, the relationship between these pathways and LfcinB target genes has never been explored. In this study, we uncovered the remarkable ability of LfcinB in the induction of an anti-inflammatory cytokine, IL-11. LfcinB binds to cell surface heparan sulfate to initiate ERK1/2 signaling and activate AP-1 complexes composed of c-Fos and JunD, which transactivate the IL-11 gene. The induced IL-11 functions as an anti-inflammatory and chondroprotective cytokine in articular chondrocytes. Our data show that IL-11 directly attenuates IL-1-mediated catabolic and inflammatory processes ex vivo and in vitro. Moreover, IL-11 activates STAT3 signaling pathway to critically up-regulate TIMP-1 expression, as a consecutive secondary cellular response after IL-11 induction by LfcinB-ERK-AP-1 axis in human adult articular chondrocytes. The pathological relevance of IL-11 signaling to osteoarthritis is evidenced by significant down-regulation of its cognate receptor expression in osteoarthritic chondrocytes. Together, our results suggest a two-step mechanism, whereby LfcinB induces TIMP-1 through an IL-11-dependent pathway involving transcription factor AP-1 and STAT3.
Abnormal osteoclast formation and osteolysis are the hallmarks of multiple myeloma (MM) bone disease, yet the underlying molecular mechanisms are incompletely understood. Here, we show that the AKT pathway was up-regulated in primary bone marrow monocytes (BMM) from patients with MM, which resulted in sustained high expression of the receptor activator of NF-?B (RANK) in osteoclast precursors. The up-regulation of RANK expression and osteoclast formation in the MM BMM cultures was blocked by AKT inhibition. Conditioned media from MM cell cultures activated AKT and increased RANK expression and osteoclast formation in BMM cultures. Inhibiting AKT in cultured MM cells decreased their growth and ability to promote osteoclast formation. Of clinical significance, systemic administration of the AKT inhibitor LY294002 blocked the formation of tumor tissues in the bone marrow cavity and essentially abolished the MM-induced osteoclast formation and osteolysis in SCID mice. The level of activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4) protein was up-regulated in the BMM cultures from multiple myeloma patients. Adenoviral overexpression of ATF4 activated RANK expression in osteoclast precursors. These results demonstrate a new role of AKT in the MM promotion of osteoclast formation and bone osteolysis through, at least in part, the ATF4-dependent up-regulation of RANK expression in osteoclast precursors.
Hypertriglyceridemia is the most common lipid disorder in obesity and type 2 diabetes. It results from increased production and/or decreased clearance of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins. To better understand the pathophysiology of hypertriglyceridemia, we studied hepatic regulation of triglyceride metabolism by the activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4), a member of the basic leucine zipper-containing protein subfamily. We determined the effect of ATF4 on hepatic lipid metabolism in Atf4(-/-) mice fed regular chow or provided with free access to fructose drinking water. ATF4 depletion preferentially attenuated hepatic lipogenesis without affecting hepatic triglyceride production and fatty acid oxidation. This effect prevented excessive fat accumulation in the liver of Atf4(-/-) mice, when compared with wild-type littermates. To gain insight into the underlying mechanism, we showed that ATF4 depletion resulted in a significant reduction in hepatic expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-?, a nuclear receptor that acts to promote lipogenesis in the liver. This effect was accompanied by a significant reduction in hepatic expression of sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1c (SREBP-1c), acetyl-CoA carboxylase, and fatty-acid synthase, three key functions in the lipogenic pathway in Atf4(-/-) mice. Of particular significance, we found that Atf4(-/-) mice, as opposed to wild-type littermates, were protected against the development of steatosis and hypertriglyceridemia in response to high fructose feeding. These data demonstrate that ATF4 plays a critical role in regulating hepatic lipid metabolism in response to nutritional cues.
Monocytes are critical effector cells of the innate immune system that protect the host by migrating to inflammatory sites, differentiating to macrophages and dendritic cells, eliciting immune responses, and killing pathogenic microbes. MCP-1, also known as CCL2, plays an important role in monocyte activation and migration. The chemotactic function of MCP-1 is mediated by binding to the CCR2 receptor, a member of the G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) family. Desensitization of GPCR chemokine receptors is an important regulator of the intensity and duration of chemokine stimulation. GPCR kinases (GRKs) induce GPCR phosphorylation, and this leads to GPCR desensitization. Regulation of subcellular localization of GRKs is considered an important early regulatory mechanism of GRK function and subsequent GPCR desensitization. Chemokines and LPS are both present during Gram-negative bacterial infection, and LPS often synergistically exaggerates leukocyte migration in response to chemokines. In this study, we investigated the role and mechanism of LPS-TLR4 signaling on the regulation of monocyte chemotaxis. We demonstrate that LPS augments MCP-1-induced monocyte migration. We also show that LPS, through p38 MAPK signaling, induces phosphorylation of GRK2 at serine 670, which, in turn, suppresses GRK2 translocation to the membrane, thereby preventing GRK2-initiated internalization and desensitization of CCR2 in response to MCP-1. This results in enhanced monocyte migration. These findings reveal a novel function for TLR4 signaling in promoting innate immune cell migration.
Hemorrhagic shock (HS) promotes the development of systemic inflammatory response syndrome and organ injury by activating and priming the innate immune system for an exaggerated inflammatory response through, as of yet, unclear mechanisms. IL-1? also plays an important role in the development of post-HS systemic inflammatory response syndrome and active IL-1? production is tightly controlled by the inflammasome. Pyrin, a protein of 781 aa with pyrin domain at the N-terminal, negatively regulates inflammasome activation through interaction with nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-like receptor protein (NLRP). Expression of pyrin can be induced by LPS and cytokines, and IL-10 is a known potent inducer of pyrin expression in macrophages. In the current study, we tested the hypothesis that HS downregulates IL-10 and therefore decreases pyrin expression to promote inflammasome activation and subsequent IL-1? processing and secretion in the lungs. Our results show that LPS, while activating Nlrp3 inflammasome in the lungs, also induced pyrin expression, which in turn suppressed inflammasome activation. More importantly, LPS-mediated upregulation of IL-10 enhanced pyrin expression, which serves, particularly in later phases, as a potent negative-feedback mechanism regulating inflammasome activation. However, HS-mediated suppression of IL-10 expression in alveolar macrophages attenuated the upregulation of pyrin in alveolar macrophages and lung endothelial cells and thereby significantly enhanced inflammasome activation and IL-1? secretion in the lungs. This study demonstrates a novel mechanism by which HS suppresses negative-feedback regulation of Nlrp3 inflammasome to enhance IL-1? secretion in response to subsequent LPS challenge and so primes for inflammation.
Star quality: Goniopectenoside?B, a minor asterosaponin from starfish Goniopecten demonstrans with antifouling activity, has been synthesized in a convergent 21?steps and in 4.3?% overall yield starting from adrenosterone. This represents the first synthesis of a complex asterosaponin, which are ubiquitous and characteristic in starfish as defense chemicals (see figure).
Activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4) is a critical transcription factor for bone remodeling; however, its role in bone angiogenesis has not been established. Here we show that ablation of the Atf4 gene expression in mice severely impaired skeletal vasculature and reduced microvascular density of the bone associated with dramatically decreased expression of hypoxia-inducible factor 1? (HIF-1?) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in osteoblasts located on bone surfaces. Results from in vivo studies revealed that hypoxia/reoxygenation induction of HIF-1? and VEGF expression leading to bone angiogenesis, a key adaptive response to hypoxic conditions, was severely compromised in mice lacking the Atf4 gene. Loss of ATF4 completely prevented endothelial sprouting from embryonic metatarsals, which was restored by addition of recombinant human VEGF protein. In vitro studies revealed that ATF4 promotion of HIF-1? and VEGF expression in osteoblasts was highly dependent upon the presence of hypoxia. ATF4 interacted with HIF-1? in hypoxic osteoblasts, and loss of ATF4 increased HIF-1? ubiquitination and reduced its protein stability without affecting HIF-1? mRNA stability and protein translation. Loss of ATF4 increased the binding of HIF-1? to prolyl hydroxylases, the enzymes that hydroxylate HIF-1a protein and promote its proteasomal degradation via the pVHL pathway. Furthermore, parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) and receptor activator of NF-?B ligand (RANKL), both well-known activators of osteoclasts, increased release of VEGF from the bone matrix and promoted angiogenesis through the protein kinase C- and ATF4-dependent activation of osteoclast differentiation and bone resorption. Thus, ATF4 is a new key regulator of the HIF/VEGF axis in osteoblasts in response to hypoxia and of VEGF release from bone matrix, two critical steps for bone angiogenesis.
The catabolic cytokine interleukin-1 (IL-1) and endotoxin lipopolysaccharide (LPS) are well-known inflammatory mediators involved in degenerative disc disease, and inhibitors of IL-1 and LPS may potentially be used to slow or prevent disc degeneration in vivo. Here, we elucidate the striking anti-catabolic and anti-inflammatory effects of bovine lactoferricin (LfcinB) in the intervertebral disc (IVD) via antagonism of both IL-1 and LPS-mediated catabolic activity using in vitro and ex vivo analyses. Specifically, we demonstrate the biological counteraction of LfcinB against IL-1 and LPS-mediated proteoglycan (PG) depletion, matrix-degrading enzyme production, and enzyme activity in long-term (alginate beads) and short-term (monolayer) culture models using bovine and human nucleus pulposus (NP) cells. LfcinB significantly attenuates the IL-1 and LPS-mediated suppression of PG production and synthesis, and thus restores PG accumulation and pericellular matrix formation. Simultaneously, LfcinB antagonizes catabolic factor mediated induction of multiple cartilage-degrading enzymes, including MMP-1, MMP-3, MMP-13, ADAMTS-4, and ADAMTS-5, in bovine NP cells at both mRNA and protein levels. LfcinB also suppresses the catabolic factor-induced stimulation of oxidative and inflammatory factors such as iNOS, IL-6, and toll-like receptor-2 (TLR-2) and TLR-4. Finally, the ability of LfcinB to antagonize IL-1 and LPS-mediated suppression of PG is upheld in an en bloc intradiscal microinjection model followed by ex vivo organ culture using both mouse and rabbit IVD tissue, suggesting a potential therapeutic benefit of LfcinB on degenerative disc disease in the future.
Bovine lactoferricin (LfcinB) is a multi-functional peptide derived from proteolytic cleavage of bovine lactoferrin. LfcinB was found to antagonize the biological effects mediated by angiogenic growth factors such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF-2) in endothelial cells. However, the effect of LfcinB on human articular cartilage remained unknown. Here, our findings demonstrate that LfcinB restored the proteoglycan loss promoted by catabolic factors (interleukin-1?) IL-1? and FGF-2 in vitro and ex vivo. Mechanistically, LfcinB attenuated the effects of IL-1? and FGF-2 on the expression of cartilage-degrading enzymes (MMP-1, MMP-3, and MMP-13), destructive cytokines (IL-1? and IL-6), and inflammatory mediators (iNOS and TLR2). LfcinB induced protective cytokine expression (IL-4 and IL-10), and downregulated aggrecanase basal expression. LfcinB specifically activated ERK MAPK and Akt signaling pathways, which may account for its anti-inflammatory activity. We also revealed that LfcinB exerted similar protective effects on human synovial fibroblasts challenged by IL-1?, with minimal cytotoxicity. Collectively, our results suggest that LfcinB possesses potent anti-catabolic and anti-inflammatory bioactivities in human articular tissues, and may be utilized for the prevention and/or treatment of OA in the future.
Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can differentiate into multiple cell types including osteoblasts. How this differentiation process is controlled, however, is not completely understood. Here we show that activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4) plays a critical role in promoting bone marrow MSC differentiation towards the osteoblast lineage. Ablation of the Atf4 gene blocked the formation of osteoprogenitors and inhibited osteoblast differentiation without affecting the expansion and formation of MSCs in bone marrow cultures. Loss of ATF4 dramatically reduced the level of ?-catenin protein in MSCs in vitro and in osteoblasts/osteoprogenitors located on trabecular and calvarial surfaces. Loss of ATF4 did not decrease the expression of major canonical Wnt/?-catenin signaling components such as Wnt3a, Wnt7b, Wnt10b, Lrp5, and Lrp6 in MSCs. Furthermore, shRNA knockdown of ATF4 expression decreased the level of ?-catenin protein in MC-4 preosteoblasts. In contrast, overexpression of ATF4 increased ?-catenin protein levels in MC-4 cells. Finally, ATF4 and ?-catenin formed a protein-protein complex in COS-7 cells coexpressing both factors or in MC-4 preosteoblastic cells. This study establishes a new role of ATF4 in controlling the ?-catenin protein levels and MSC differentiation towards the osteoblast lineage.
Bone-morphogenetic protein-7 (BMP7) is a well-known anabolic and anti-catabolic growth factor on intervertebral disc (IVD) matrix and cell homeostasis. Similarly, Lactoferricin B (LfcinB) has recently been shown to have pro-anabolic, anti-catabolic, anti-oxidative and/or anti-inflammatory effects in bovine disc cells in vitro. In this study, we investigated the potential benefits of using combined peptide therapy with LfcinB and BMP7 for intervertebral disc matrix repair and to understand cellular and signaling mechanisms controlled by these factors. We studied the effects of BMP7 and LfcinB as individual treatments and combined therapy on bovine nucleus pulposus (NP) cells by assessing proteoglycan (PG) accumulation and synthesis, and the gene expression of matrix protein aggrecan and transcription factor SOX-9. We also analyzed the role of Noggin, a BMP antagonist, in IVD tissue and examined its effect after stimulation with LfcinB. To understand the molecular mechanisms by which LfcinB synergizes with BMP7, we investigated the ERK-SP1 axis as a downstream intracellular signaling regulator involved in BMP7 and LfcinB-mediated activities. Treatment of bovine NP cells cultured in alginate with LfcinB plus BMP7 synergistically stimulates PG synthesis and accumulation in part by upregulation of aggrecan gene expression. The synergism results from LfcinB-mediated activation of Sp1 and SMAD signaling pathways by (i) phosphorylation of SMAD 1/5/8; (ii) downregulation of SMAD inhibitory factors [i.e., noggin and SMAD6 (inhibitory SMAD)]; and (iii) upregulation of SMAD4 (universal co-SMAD). These data indicate that LfcinB-suppression of Noggin may eliminate the negative feedback of BMP7, thereby maximizing biological activity of BMP7 and ultimately shifting homeostasis to a pro-anabolic state in disc cells. We propose that combination growth factor therapy using BMP7 and LfcinB may be beneficial for treatment of disc degeneration.
This study examined the effects of parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) derived from human MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells on the tumor growth and osteoblast inhibition. Results revealed that knocking down PTHrP expression in the breast cancer cells strikingly inhibited the formation of subcutaneous tumors in nude mice. PTHrP knockdown dramatically decreased the levels of cyclins D1 and A1 proteins and arrested the cell cycle progression at the G1 stage. PTHrP knockdown led to the cleavage of Caspase 8 and induced apoptosis of the tumor cells. Interestingly, knocking down PTHrP increased the levels of Beclin1 and LC3-II and promoted the formation of autophagosomes. Knocking down PTHrP expression significantly reduced the abilities of the breast cancer cells to inhibit osteoblast differentiation and bone formation in vitro and in vivo. Finally, we found that PTHrP activated its own expression through an autocrine mechanism in MDA-MB-231 cells. Collectively, these studies suggest that targeting PTHrP expression in the tumor cells could be a potential therapeutic strategy for breast cancers, especially those with skeletal metastases.
Osterix (Osx) is an osteoblast-specific transcription factor required for bone formation and osteoblast differentiation. The critical step in bone formation is to replace the avascular cartilage template with vascularized bone. Osteogenesis and angiogenesis are associated with each other, sharing some essential regulators. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is involved in both angiogenesis and osteogenesis. Transcriptional regulation of VEGF expression is not well known in osteoblasts. In this study, quantitative real-time RT-PCR results revealed that VEGF expression was down-regulated in Osx-null calvarial cells and that osteoblast marker osteocalcin expression was absent. Overexpression of Osx in stable C2C12 mesenchymal cells using a Tet-off system resulted in up-regulation of both osteocalcin and VEGF expression. The inhibition of Osx by siRNA led to repression of VEGF expression in osteoblasts. These results suggest that Osx controls VEGF expression. Transfection assays demonstrated that Osx activated VEGF promoter activity. A series of VEGF promoter deletion mutants were examined and the minimal Osx-responsive region was defined to the proximal 140-bp region of the VEGF promoter. Additional point mutants were used to identify two GC-rich regions that were responsible for VEGF promoter activation by Osx. Gel shift assay showed that Osx bound to the VEGF promoter sequence directly. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays indicated that endogenous Osx associated with the native VEGF promoter in primary osteoblasts. Moreover, immunohistochemistry staining showed decreased VEGF protein levels in the tibiae of Osx conditional knock-out mice. We provide the first evidence that Osx controlled VEGF expression, suggesting a potential role of Osx in coordinating osteogenesis and angiogenesis.
Protracted inhibition of osteoblast (OB) differentiation characterizes multiple myeloma (MM) bone disease and persists even when patients are in long-term remission. However, the underlying pathophysiology for this prolonged OB suppression is unknown. Therefore, we developed a mouse MM model in which the bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) remained unresponsive to OB differentiation signals after removal of MM cells. We found that BMSCs from both MM-bearing mice and MM patients had increased levels of the transcriptional repressor Gfi1 compared with controls and that Gfi1 was a novel transcriptional repressor of the critical OB transcription factor Runx2. Trichostatin-A blocked the effects of Gfi1, suggesting that it induces epigenetic changes in the Runx2 promoter. MM-BMSC cell-cell contact was not required for MM cells to increase Gfi1 and repress Runx2 levels in MC-4 before OBs or naive primary BMSCs, and Gfi1 induction was blocked by anti-TNF-? and anti-IL-7 antibodies. Importantly, BMSCs isolated from Gfi1(-/-) mice were significantly resistant to MM-induced OB suppression. Strikingly, siRNA knockdown of Gfi1 in BMSCs from MM patients significantly restored expression of Runx2 and OB differentiation markers. Thus, Gfi1 may have an important role in prolonged MM-induced OB suppression and provide a new therapeutic target for MM bone disease.
Hemorrhagic shock (HS) due to major trauma and surgery predisposes the host to the development of systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS), including acute lung injury (ALI), through activating and exaggerating the innate immune response. IL-1? is a crucial proinflammatory cytokine that contributes to the development of SIRS and ALI. Lung endothelial cells (EC) are one important source of IL-1?, and the production of active IL-1? is controlled by the inflammasome. In this study, we addressed the mechanism underlying HS activation of the inflammasome in lung EC. We show that high mobility group box 1 acting through TLR4, and a synergistic collaboration with TLR2 and receptor for advanced glycation end products signaling, mediates HS-induced activation of EC NAD(P)H oxidase. In turn, reactive oxygen species derived from NAD(P)H oxidase promote the association of thioredoxin-interacting protein with the nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-like receptor protein NLRP3 and subsequently induce inflammasome activation and IL-1? secretion from the EC. We also show that neutrophil-derived reactive oxygen species play a role in enhancing EC NAD(P)H oxidase activation and therefore an amplified inflammasome activation in response to HS. The present study explores a novel mechanism underlying HS activation of EC inflammasome and thus presents a potential therapeutic target for SIRS and ALI induced after HS.
In this study, we determined the molecular mechanisms whereby forkhead transcription factor Foxo1, a key downstream signaling molecule of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1)/insulin actions, regulates Runx2 activity and expression of the mouse osteocalcin gene 2 (Bglap2) in osteoblasts in vitro. We showed that Foxo1 inhibited Runx2-dependent transcriptional activity and osteocalcin mRNA expression and Bglap2 promoter activity in MC-4 preosteoblasts. Co-immunoprecipitation assay showed that Foxo1 physically interacted with Runx2 via its C-terminal region in osteoblasts or when co-expressed in COS-7 cells. Electrophoretic mobility shift assay demonstrated that Foxo1 suppressed Runx2 binding to its cognate site within the Bglap2 promoter. IGF1 and insulin prevented Foxo1 from inhibiting Runx2 activity by promoting Foxo1 phosphorylation and nuclear exclusion. In contrast, a neutralizing anti-IGF1 antibody decreased Runx2 activity and osteocalcin expression in osteoblasts. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assay revealed that IGF1 increased Runx2 interaction with a chromatin fragment of the proximal Bglap2 promoter in a PI3K/AKT-dependent manner. Conversely, knockdown of Foxo1 increased Runx2 interaction with the promoter. This study establishes that Foxo1 is a novel negative regulator of osteoblast-specific transcription factor Runx2 and modulates IGF1/insulin-dependent regulation of osteocalcin expression in osteoblasts.
Activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4) is a critical transcription factor for osteoblast (OBL) function and bone formation; however, a direct role in osteoclasts (OCLs) has not been established. Here, we targeted expression of ATF4 to the OCL lineage using the Trap promoter or through deletion of Atf4 in mice. OCL differentiation was drastically decreased in Atf4-/- bone marrow monocyte (BMM) cultures and bones. Coculture of Atf4-/- BMMs with WT OBLs or a high concentration of RANKL failed to restore the OCL differentiation defect. Conversely, Trap-Atf4-tg mice displayed severe osteopenia with dramatically increased osteoclastogenesis and bone resorption. We further showed that ATF4 was an upstream activator of the critical transcription factor Nfatc1 and was critical for RANKL activation of multiple MAPK pathways in OCL progenitors. Furthermore, ATF4 was crucial for M-CSF induction of RANK expression on BMMs, and lack of ATF4 caused a shift in OCL precursors to macrophages. Finally, ATF4 was largely modulated by M-CSF signaling and the PI3K/AKT pathways in BMMs. These results demonstrate that ATF4 plays a direct role in regulating OCL differentiation and suggest that it may be a therapeutic target for treating bone diseases associated with increased OCL activity.
The vascular endothelium plays an important role in the regulation of inflammatory responses after trauma and hemorrhage. Interactions of neutrophils with endothelial cells (ECs) contribute to the activation of specific EC responses involved in innate immunity. We have previously reported that oxidants derived from the neutrophil reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase is a critical regulator to EC activation. Our objective was to test the role of neutrophil NADPH oxidase-derived oxidants in mediating and enhancing hemorrhagic shock (HS)-induced activation of lung endothelial NADPH oxidase. Mice were subjected to HS and neutrophil depletion. The mice were also replenished with the neutrophil from NADPH oxidase-deficient mice. The resultant activation of lung NADPH oxidase was analyzed. The in vivo studies were also recapitulated with in vitro neutrophil-EC coculture system. HS induces NADPH oxidase activation in neutrophils and lung through high-mobility group box 1/Toll-like receptor 4-dependent signaling. In neutropenic mice, shock-induced NADPH oxidase activation in the lung was reduced significantly, but was restored upon repletion with neutrophils obtained from wild-type mice subjected to shock, but not with neutrophils from shock mice lacking the gp91(phox) subunit of NADPH oxidase. The findings were recapitulated in mouse lung vascular ECs cocultured with neutrophils. The data further demonstrate that neutrophil-derived oxidants are key factors mediating augmented High mobility group box 1 (HMGB1)-induced endothelial NADPH oxidase activation through a Rac1-dependent, but p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase-independent, pathway. Oxidant signaling by neutrophil NADPH oxidase is an important determinant of activation of endothelial NADPH oxidase after HS.
Insulin resistance results in dysregulated hepatic gluconeogenesis that contributes to obesity-related hyperglycemia and progression of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Recent studies show that MAPK phosphatase-3 (MKP-3) promotes gluconeogenic gene transcription in hepatoma cells, but little is known about the physiological role of MKP-3 in vivo. Here, we have shown that expression of MKP-3 is markedly increased in the liver of diet-induced obese mice. Consistent with this, adenovirus-mediated MKP-3 overexpression in lean mice promoted gluconeogenesis and increased fasting blood glucose levels. Conversely, shRNA knockdown of MKP-3 in both lean and obese mice resulted in decreased fasting blood glucose levels. In vitro experiments identified forkhead box O1 (FOXO1) as a substrate for MKP-3. MKP-3-mediated dephosphorylation of FOXO1 at Ser256 promoted its nuclear translocation and subsequent recruitment to the promoters of key gluconeogenic genes. In addition, we showed that PPAR? coactivator-1? (PGC-1?) acted downstream of FOXO1 to mediate MKP-3-induced gluconeogenesis. These data indicate that MKP-3 is an important regulator of hepatic gluconeogenesis in vivo and suggest that inhibition of MKP-3 activity may provide new therapies for T2DM.
Hemorrhagic shock (HS) due to major trauma predisposes the host to the development of acute lung inflammation and injury. The lung vascular endothelium is an active organ that plays a central role in the development of acute lung injury through generating reactive oxygen species and synthesizing and releasing of a number of inflammatory mediators, including leukocyte adhesion molecules that regulate neutrophils emigration. Previous study from our laboratory has demonstrated that in a setting of sepsis, toll-like receptor-4 (TLR4) signaling can induce TLR2 expression in endothelial cells (ECs), thereby increasing the cells response to TLR2 ligands. The present study tested the hypothesis that TLR4 activation by HS and the resultant increased TLR2 surface expression in ECs might contribute to the mechanism underlying HS-augmented activation of lung ECs. The results show that high-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) through TLR4 signaling mediates HS-induced surface expression of TLR2 in the lung and mouse lung vascular endothelial cells (MLVECs). Furthermore, the results demonstrate that HMGB1 induces activation of NAD(P)H oxidase and expression of ICAM-1 in the lung, and MLVECs sequentially depend on TLR4 in the early phase and on TLR2 in the late phase following HS. Finally, the data indicate an important role of the increased TLR2 surface expression in enhancing the activation of MLVECs and augmenting pulmonary neutrophil infiltration in response to TLR2 agonist peptidoglycan. Thus, induction of TLR2 surface expression in lung ECs, induced by HS and mediated by HMGB1/TLR4 signaling, is an important mechanism responsible for endothelial cell-mediated inflammation and organ injury following trauma and hemorrhage.
The Runx2 transcription factor is required for commitment of mesenchymal cells to bone lineages and is a major regulator of osteoblast-specific gene expression. Runx2 is subject to a number of post-transcriptional controls including selective proteolysis and phosphorylation. We previously reported that Runx2 is phosphorylated and activated by the ERK/MAPK pathway (Xiao, G., Jiang, D., Thomas, P., Benson, M. D., Guan, K., Karsenty, G., and Franceschi, R. T. (2000) J. Biol. Chem. 275, 4453-4459). In this study, we used a combination of in vitro and in vivo phosphorylation analysis, mass spectroscopy, and functional assays to identify two sites at Ser(301) and Ser(319) within the proline/serine/threonine domain of Runx2 that are required for this regulation. These sites are phosphorylated by activated ERK1 in vitro and in cell culture. In addition to confirming ERK-dependent phosphorylation at Ser(319), mass spectroscopy identified two other ERK-phosphorylated sites at Ser(43) and Ser(510). Furthermore, introduction of S301A,S319A mutations rendered Runx2 resistant to MAPK-dependent activation and reduced its ability to stimulate osteoblast-specific gene expression and differentiation after transfection into Runx2-null calvarial cells and mesenchymal cells. In contrast, S301E,S319E Runx2 mutants had enhanced transcriptional activity that was minimally dependent on MAPK signaling, consistent with the addition of a negative charge mimicking serine phosphorylation. These results emphasize the important role played by Runx2 phosphorylation in the control of osteoblast gene expression and provide a mechanism to explain how physiological signals acting on bone through the ERK/MAPK pathway can stimulate osteoblast-specific gene expression.
Parathyroid hormone (PTH) is a potent anabolic agent for the treatment of osteoporosis. However, its mechanism of action in osteoblast and bone is not well understood. In this study, we show that the anabolic actions of PTH in bone are severely impaired in both growing and adult ovariectomized mice lacking bone-related activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4). Our study demonstrates that ATF4 deficiency suppresses PTH-stimulated osteoblast proliferation and survival and abolishes PTH-induced osteoblast differentiation, which, together, compromise the anabolic response. We further demonstrate that the PTH-dependent increase in osteoblast differentiation is correlated with ATF4-dependent up-regulation of Osterix. This regulation involves interactions of ATF4 with a specific enhancer sequence in the Osterix promoter. Furthermore, actions of PTH on Osterix require this same element and are associated with increased binding of ATF4 to chromatin. Taken together these experiments establish a fundamental role for ATF4 in the anabolic actions of PTH on the skeleton.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths. The morbidity and mortality of lung cancer have markedly increased in the past decade with at least 75% of patients with lung cancer having evidence of metastases at the time of diagnosis. It frequently metastasizes to bone resulting in osteolytic lesions with unknown mechanisms. The aim of this study was to identify factors that mediate lung cancer-induced osteoclast activity in vivo. Using a human cytokine antibody array, we first determined cytokine levels in a conditioned medium collected from non-small cell lung cancer A549 and H1299 cells and the non-neoplastic human bronchial epithelial BEAS2B cells. Both A549 and H1229 cells produced significantly higher amount of several cytokines including monocyte chemotactic protein 1 (MCP-1) and interleukin 8 (IL-8) compared with BEAS2B cells. These findings were confirmed by ELISA. From clinical serum specimens, we also observed that MCP-1 and IL-8 levels were increased in lung cancer patients with bone metastases compared with the patients with localized tumor. Next, we investigated the effects of MCP-1 on osteoclast formation in vitro using murine bone marrow-derived monocytes. A549 conditioned medium induced osteoclast formation that was inhibited by neutralizing antibodies against MCP-1. Finally, A549 cells were stably transfected with MCP-1 short hairpin RNA. The MCP-1 knockdown A549 cells were implanted into the tibia of severe combined immunodeficient mice for 4 weeks. The MCP-1 knockdown significantly diminished A549 cell growth. We conclude that MCP-1 promotes lung cancer-induced osteoclast activity and thus bone resorptive lesions in vivo.
Polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN) are critical innate immune effector cells that either protect the host or exacerbate organ dysfunction by migrating to injured or inflamed tissues. Resuscitated hemorrhagic shock following major trauma promotes the development of organ inflammation by priming PMN migration and activation in response to a second, often trivial, stimulus (a so-called "two hit" phenomenon). PMN mobilization from bone marrow supports a sustained, hemorrhagic shock/resuscitation (HS/R)-primed migration of PMN. We addressed the role and mechanism of HS/R in regulating PMN egress from bone marrow. We demonstrate that HS/R through the alarmin HMGB1 induces IL-23 secretion from macrophages in an autocrine and TLR4 signaling-dependent manner. In turn IL-23, through an IL-17 G-CSF-mediated mechanism, induces PMN egress from bone marrow. We also show that beta-adrenergic receptor activation by catecholamine of macrophages mediates the HS/R-induced release of HMGB1. These data indicate that HS/R, a global ischemia/reperfusion stimulus, regulates PMN mobilization through a series of interacting pathways that include neuroendocrine and innate and acquired immune systems. Blocking this novel signaling axis may present a novel therapeutic target for posttrauma inflammation.
The differentiation of osteoblasts from mesenchymal precursors requires a series of cell fate decisions controlled by a hierarchy of transcription factors. These include RUNX2, Osterix (OSX), ATF4 and a large number of nuclear coregulators. During bone development, initial RUNX2 expression coincides with the formation of mesenchymal condensations and precedes the branching of chondrogenic and osteogenic lineages. Given its central role in bone development, it is not surprising that RUNX2 is subject to a variety of controls. These include posttranslational modification, especially phosphorylation, and interactions with accessory nuclear factors. Specific examples of RUNX2 regulation to be reviewed include phosphorylation by the ERK/MAP kinase pathway and interactions with DLX5. RUNX2 is regulated via phosphorylation of critical serine residues in the proline/serine/threonine domain. In vivo, the transgenic expression of constitutively active MAP kinase in osteoblasts accelerated skeletal development, while a dominant-negative MAPK retarded development in a RUNX2-dependent manner. DLX5-RUNX2 complexes can be detected in osteoblasts and this interaction plays a critical role in maintaining osteoblast-specific expression of the bone sialoprotein gene. These studies allow us to begin understanding the complex mechanisms necessary to fine-tune bone formation as mesenchymal progenitors progress down the osteoblast lineage.
Bone mass is controlled through a delicate balance between osteoblast-mediated bone formation and osteoclast-mediated bone resorption. We show here that RNA editing enzyme adenosine deaminase acting on RNA 1 (ADAR1) is critical for proper control of bone mass. Postnatal conditional knockout of Adar1 (the gene encoding ADAR1) resulted in a severe osteopenic phenotype. Ablation of the Adar1 gene significantly suppressed osteoblast differentiation without affecting osteoclast differentiation in bone. In vitro deletion of the Adar1 gene decreased expression of osteoblast-specific osteocalcin and bone sialoprotein genes, alkaline phosphatase activity, and mineralization, suggesting a direct intrinsic role of ADAR1 in osteoblasts. ADAR1 regulates osteoblast differentiation by, at least in part, modulation of osterix expression, which is essential for bone formation. Further, ablation of the Adar1 gene decreased the proliferation and survival of bone marrow stromal cells and inhibited the differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells towards osteoblast lineage. Finally, shRNA knockdown of the Adar1 gene in MC-4 pre-osteoblasts reduced cyclin D1 and cyclin A1 expression and cell growth. Our results identify ADAR1 as a new key regulator of bone mass and suggest that ADAR1 functions in this process mainly through modulation of the intrinsic properties of osteoblasts (i.e., proliferation, survival and differentiation).
The specific role of endogenous Bmp2 gene in chondrocytes and in osteoblasts in fracture healing was investigated by generation and analysis of chondrocyte- and osteoblast-specific Bmp2 conditional knockout (cKO) mice. The unilateral open transverse tibial fractures were created in these Bmp2 cKO mice. Bone fracture callus samples were collected and analyzed by X-ray, micro-CT, histology analyses, biomechanical testing and gene expression assays. The results demonstrated that the lack of Bmp2 expression in chondrocytes leads to a prolonged cartilage callus formation and a delayed osteogenesis initiation and progression into mineralization phase with lower biomechanical properties. In contrast, when the Bmp2 gene was deleted in osteoblasts, the mice showed no significant difference in the fracture healing process compared to control mice. These findings suggest that endogenous BMP2 expression in chondrocytes may play an essential role in cartilage callus maturation at an early stage of fracture healing. Our studies may provide important information for clinical application of BMP2.
MyD88 is an adapter protein that links toll-like receptors (TLRs) and Interleukin-1 receptors (IL-1Rs) with downstream signaling molecules. The MyD88 has been found to be an essential mediator in the development of osteoarthritis in articular cartilage. However, the role of the MyD88 pathway has yet to be elucidated in the intervertebral disk (IVD). Using in vitro techniques, we analyzed the effect of MyD88 pathway-specific inhibition on the potent inflammatory and catabolic mediator LPS and IL-1 in bovine and human nucleus pulposus (NP) cells by assessing matrix-degrading enzyme expression, including matrix metalloproteases (MMPs) and a disintegrin-like and metalloprotease with thrombospondin motifs (ADAMTS family). We also analyzed inhibition of MyD88 in the regulation of inducible nitric oxide synthase and TLR-2. Finally, we used an ex vivo organ culture model to assess the effects of MyD88 inhibitor (MyD88i) on catabolic factor-induced disk degeneration in mice lumbar disks. In bovine NP cells, MyD88i potently antagonizes LPS- or IL-1-mediated induction of cartilage-degrading enzyme production, including MMP-1, MMP-13, ADAMTS-4, and ADAMTS-5. MyD88i also attenuates the LPS- or IL-1-mediated induction of iNOS and TLR-2 gene expression. Our ex vivo findings reveal inhibition of MyD88 via counteraction of IL-1-mediated proteoglycan depletion. The findings from this study demonstrate the potent anti-inflammatory and anti-catabolic effects of inhibition of MyD88 pathway inhibition on IVD homeostasis, suggesting a potential therapeutic benefit of a MyD88i in degenerative disk disease in the future.
Bone remodeling is a complex process that must be precisely controlled to maintain a healthy life. We show here that filamin-binding LIM protein 1 (FBLP-1, also known as migfilin), a kindlin- and filamin-binding focal adhesion protein, is essential for proper control of bone remodeling. Genetic inactivation of FBLIM1 (the gene encoding FBLP-1) in mice resulted in a severe osteopenic phenotype. Primary FBLP-1 null bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) exhibited significantly reduced extracellular matrix adhesion and migration compared with wild type BMSCs. Loss of FBLP-1 significantly impaired the growth and survival of BMSCs in vitro and decreased the number of osteoblast (OB) progenitors in bone marrow and OB differentiation in vivo. Furthermore, the loss of FBLP-1 caused a dramatic increase of osteoclast (OCL) differentiation in vivo. The level of receptor activator of nuclear factor ?B ligand (RANKL), a key regulator of OCL differentiation, was markedly increased in FBLP-1 null BMSCs. The capacity of FBLP-1 null bone marrow monocytes (BMMs) to differentiate into multinucleated OCLs in response to exogenously supplied RANKL, however, was not different from that of WT BMMs. Finally, we show that a loss of FBLP-1 promotes activating phosphorylation of ERK1/2. Inhibition of ERK1/2 activation substantially suppressed the increase of RANKL induced by the loss of FBLP-1. Our results identify FBLP-1 as a key regulator of bone homeostasis and suggest that FBLP-1 functions in this process through modulating both the intrinsic properties of OB/BMSCs (i.e., BMSC-extracellular matrix adhesion and migration, cell growth, survival, and differentiation) and the communication between OB/BMSCs and BMMs (i.e., RANKL expression) that controls osteoclastogenesis.
Existing literature demonstrates that fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) exerts opposing, contradictory biological effects on cartilage homeostasis in different species. In human articular cartilage, FGF-2 plays a catabolic and anti-anabolic role in cartilage homeostasis, driving homeostasis toward degeneration and osteoarthritis (OA). In murine joints, however, FGF-2 has been identified as an anabolic mediator as ablation of the FGF-2 gene demonstrated increased susceptibility to OA. There have been no previous studies specifically addressing species-specific differences in FGF-2-mediated biological effects. In this study, we provide a mechanistic understanding by which FGF-2 exerts contradictory biological effects in human versus murine tissues. Using human articular cartilage (ex vivo) and a medial meniscal destabilization (DMM) animal model (in vivo), species-specific expression patterns of FGFR receptors (FGFRs) are elucidated between human and murine articular cartilage. In the murine OA model followed by intra-articular injection of FGF-2, we further correlate FGFR profiles to changes in behavioral pain perception, proteoglycan content in articular cartilage, and production of inflammatory (CD11b) and angiogenic (VEGF) mediators in synovium lining cells. Our results suggest that the fundamental differences in cellular responses between human and murine tissues may be secondary to distinctive expression patterns of FGFRs that eventually determine biological outcomes in the presence of FGF-2. The complex interplay of FGFRs and the downstream signaling cascades induced by FGF-2 in human cartilage should add caution to the use of this particular growth factor for biological therapy in the future.
The release of hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs) from bone marrow (BM) is under tight homeostatic control. Under stress conditions, HPCs migrate from BM and egress into circulation to participate in immune response, wound repair, or tissue regeneration. Hemorrhagic shock with resuscitation (HS/R), resulting from severe trauma and major surgery, promotes HPC mobilization from BM, which, in turn, affects post-HS immune responses. In this study, we investigated the mechanism of HS/R regulation of HPC mobilization from BM. Using a mouse HS/R model, we demonstrate that the endogenous alarmin molecule high-mobility group box 1 mediates HS/R-induced granulocyte colony-stimulating factor secretion from macrophages (M? in a RAGE [receptor for advanced glycation end products] signaling-dependent manner. Secreted granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, in turn, induces HPC egress from BM. We also show that activation of ?-adrenergic receptors on M? by catecholamine mediates the HS/R-induced release of high-mobility group box 1. These data indicate that HS/R, a global ischemia-reperfusion stimulus, regulates HPC mobilization through a series of interacting pathways that include neuroendocrine and innate immune systems, in which M? play a central role.
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