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Kindlin-2 preserves integrity of the articular cartilage to protect against osteoarthritis

Wu, Xiaohao; Lai, Yumei; Chen, Sheng; Zhou, Chunlei; Tao, Chu; Fu, Xuekun; Li, Jun; Tong, Wei; Tian, Hongtao; Shao, Zengwu; Liu, Chuanju; Chen, Di; Bai, Xiaochun; Cao, Huiling; Xiao, Guozhi
Osteoarthritis (OA) is an aging-related degenerative joint disease with a poorly defined mechanism. Here we report that kindlin-2 is highly expressed in articular chondrocytes and downregulated in the degenerated cartilage of aged mice and patients with OA. Kindlin-2 deletion in articular chondrocytes leads to spontaneous OA and exacerbates instability-induced OA lesions in adult mice. Kindlin-2 deficiency promotes mitochondrial oxidative stress and activates Stat3, leading to Runx2-mediated chondrocyte catabolism. Pharmacological inhibition of Stat3 activation or genetic ablation of Stat3 in chondrocytes reverses aberrant accumulation of Runx2 and extracellular-matrix-degrading enzymes and limits OA deteriorations caused by kindlin-2 deficiency. Deleting Runx2 in chondrocytes reverses structural changes and OA lesions caused by kindlin-2 deletion without downregulating p-Stat3. Intra-articular injection of AAV5"“kindlin-2 decelerates progression of aging- and instability-induced knee joint OA in mice. Collectively, we identify a pathway consisting of kindlin-2, Stat3 and Runx2 in articular chondrocytes that is responsible for maintaining articular cartilage integrity and define a potential therapeutic target for OA.
ISSN: 2662-8465
CID: 5199532

Digoxin targets low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 4 and protects against osteoarthritis

Wang, Kai-di; Ding, Xiang; Jiang, Nan; Zeng, Chao; Wu, Jing; Cai, Xian-Yi; Hettinghouse, Aubryanna; Khleborodova, Asya; Lei, Zi-Ning; Chen, Zhe-Sheng; Lei, Guang-Hua; Liu, Chuan-Ju
OBJECTIVES/OBJECTIVE:Dysregulated chondrocyte metabolism is closely associated with the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis (OA). Suppressing chondrocyte catabolism to restore cartilage homeostasis has been extensively explored, whereas far less effort has been invested toward enhancing chondrocyte anabolism. This study aimed to repurpose clinically approved drugs as potential stimulators of chondrocyte anabolism in treating OA. METHODS:Screening of a Food and Drug Administration-approved drug library; Assays for examining the chondroprotective effects of digoxin in vitro; Assays for defining the therapeutic effects of digoxin using a surgically-induced OA model; A propensity-score matched cohort study using The Health Improvement Network to examine the relationship between digoxin use and the risk of joint OA-associated replacement among patients with atrial fibrillation; identification and characterisation of the binding of digoxin to low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 4 (LRP4); various assays, including use of CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing to delete LRP4 in human chondrocytes, for examining the dependence on LRP4 of digoxin regulation of chondrocytes. RESULTS:Serial screenings led to the identification of ouabain and digoxin as stimulators of chondrocyte differentiation and anabolism. Ouabain and digoxin protected against OA and relieved OA-associated pain. The cohort study of 56 794 patients revealed that digoxin use was associated with reduced risk of OA-associated joint replacement. LRP4 was isolated as a novel target of digoxin, and deletion of LRP4 abolished digoxin's regulations of chondrocytes. CONCLUSIONS:These findings not only provide new insights into the understanding of digoxin's chondroprotective action and underlying mechanisms, but also present new evidence for repurposing digoxin for OA.
PMID: 34853001
ISSN: 1468-2060
CID: 5065732

Targeting macrophage TFEB-14-3-3 epsilon Interface by naringenin inhibits abdominal aortic aneurysm

Jia, Yiting; Zhang, Lu; Liu, Ziyi; Mao, Chenfeng; Ma, Zihan; Li, Wenqiang; Yu, Fang; Wang, Yingbao; Huang, Yaqian; Zhang, Weizhen; Zheng, Jingang; Wang, Xian; Xu, Qingbo; Zhang, Jian; Feng, Wei; Yun, Caihong; Liu, Chuanju; Sun, Jinpeng; Fu, Yi; Cui, Qinghua; Kong, Wei
Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a lethal cardiovascular disease, and there is no proven drug treatment for this condition. In this study, by using the Connectivity Map (CMap) approach, we explored naringenin, a naturally occurring citrus flavonoid, as a putative agent for inhibiting AAA. We then validated the prediction with two independent mouse models of AAA, calcium phosphate (CaPO4)-induced C57BL/6J mice and angiotensin II-infused ApoE-/- mice. Naringenin effectively blocked the formation of AAAs and the progression of established AAAs. Transcription factor EB (TFEB) is the master regulator of lysosome biogenesis. Intriguingly, the protective role of naringenin on AAA was abolished by macrophage-specific TFEB depletion in mice. Unbiased interactomics, combined with isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) and cellular thermal shift assays (CETSAs), further revealed that naringenin is directly bound to 14-3-3 epsilon blocked the TFEB-14-3-3 epsilon interaction, and therefore promoted TFEB nuclear translocation and activation. On one hand, naringenin activated lysosome-dependent inhibition of the NLRP3 inflammasome and repressed aneurysmal inflammation. On the other hand, naringenin induced TFEB-dependent transcriptional activation of GATA3, IRF4, and STAT6 and therefore promoted reparative M2 macrophage polarization. In summary, naturally derived naringenin or macrophage TFEB activation shows promising efficacy for the treatment of AAA.
PMID: 35228523
ISSN: 2056-5968
CID: 5174252

Penfluridol targets acid sphingomyelinase to inhibit TNF signaling and is therapeutic against inflammatory autoimmune diseases

Chen, Yue-Hong; Liu, Rong-Han; Cui, Ya-Zhou; Hettinghouse, Aubryanna; Fu, Wen-Yu; Zhang, Lei; Zhang, Chen; Liu, Chuan-Ju
BACKGROUND:Penfluridol, isolated from an FDA-approved small-molecule drug library as an inhibitor of tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα)-stimulated NF-κB activation, is clinically used to treat chronic schizophrenia and related disorders. This study is aimed to investigate the therapeutic effect of penfluridol on TNFα-stimulated inflammatory autoimmune diseases, particularly inflammatory arthritis. METHODS:Various in vitro studies to confirm the inhibitory effect of penfluridol on TNFα-induced NF-κB activity in bone marrow-derived macrophages or Raw 264.7 macrophage cell line. In vivo studies assessed the therapeutic effects of penfluridol in various disease models, including TNFα transgenic mice, collagen-induced arthritis, DSS-induced colitis, and TNBS-induced colitis. Identification and characterization of the binding of penfluridol to acid sphingomyelinase using bioinformatics and drug affinity responsive target stability assay. Acid sphingomyelinase activity assays to reveal penfluridol-mediated inhibition of acid sphingomyelinase activity. siRNA knockdown experiments to illustrate the dependence of penfluridol's anti-TNF activity on acid sphingomyelinase. RESULTS:Penfluridol effectively inhibited TNFα-induced NF-κB activation in vitro and alleviated the severity of arthritis and colitis in vivo. Mechanistic studies revealed that penfluridol bound to acid sphingomyelinase and inhibited its activation. In addition, knockdown of acid sphingomyelinase largely abolished the inhibitory effects of penfluridol on TNFα-induced inflammatory cytokine production. Furthermore, penfluridol suppressed the differentiation of spleen naive CD4+T cells to TH1 and TH17 and inhibited M1 macrophage polarization. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:This study provides the rationale for the possible innovative use of penfluridol as a newly identified small-molecule drug for TNFα-driven diseases, such as inflammatory arthritis and colitis.
PMID: 35045889
ISSN: 1478-6362
CID: 5131602

Injectable recombinant block polymer gel for sustained delivery of therapeutic protein in post traumatic osteoarthritis

Katyal, Priya; Hettinghouse, Aubryanna; Meleties, Michael; Hasan, Sadaf; Chen, Changhong; Cui, Min; Sun, Guodong; Menon, Rajiv; Lin, Bonnie; Regatte, Ravinder; Montclare, Jin Kim; Liu, Chuan-Ju
Protein-based biomaterials offer several advantages over synthetic materials, owing to their unique stimuli-responsive properties, biocompatibility and modular nature. Here, we demonstrate that E5C, a recombinant protein block polymer, consisting of five repeats of elastin like polypeptide (E) and a coiled-coil domain of cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (C), is capable of forming a porous networked gel at physiological temperature, making it an excellent candidate for injectable biomaterials. Combination of E5C with Atsttrin, a chondroprotective engineered derivative of anti-inflammatory growth factor progranulin, provides a unique biochemical and biomechanical environment to protect against post-traumatic osteoarthritis (PTOA) onset and progression. E5C gel was demonstrated to provide prolonged release of Atsttrin and inhibit chondrocyte catabolism while facilitating anabolic signaling in vitro. We also provide in vivo evidence that prophylactic and therapeutic application of Atsttrin-loaded E5C gels protected against PTOA onset and progression in a rabbit anterior cruciate ligament transection model. Collectively, we have developed a unique protein-based gel capable of minimally invasive, sustained delivery of prospective therapeutics, particularly the progranulin-derivative Atsttrin, for therapeutic application in OA.
PMID: 35032910
ISSN: 1878-5905
CID: 5119242

Analysis of the Biomarkers for Neurodegenerative Diseases in Aged Progranulin Deficient Mice

Zhao, Xiangli; Hasan, Sadaf; Liou, Benjamin; Lin, Yi; Sun, Ying; Liu, Chuanju
Neurodegenerative diseases are debilitating impairments that affect millions of people worldwide and are characterized by progressive degeneration of structure and function of the central or peripheral nervous system. Effective biomarkers for neurodegenerative diseases can be used to improve the diagnostic workup in the clinic as well as facilitate the development of effective disease-modifying therapies. Progranulin (PGRN) has been reported to be involved in various neurodegenerative disorders. Hence, in the current study we systematically compared the inflammation and accumulation of typical neurodegenerative disease markers in the brain tissue between PGRN knockout (PGRN KO) and wildtype (WT) mice. We found that PGRN deficiency led to significant neuron loss as well as activation of microglia and astrocytes in aged mice. Several characteristic neurodegenerative markers, including α-synuclein, TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43), Tau, and β-amyloid, were all accumulated in the brain of PGRN-deficient mice as compared to WT mice. Moreover, higher aggregation of lipofuscin was observed in the brain tissue of PGRN-deficient mice compared with WT mice. In addition, the autophagy was also defective in the brain of PGRN-deficient mice, indicated by the abnormal expression level of autophagy marker LC3-II. Collectively, comprehensive assays support the idea that PGRN plays an important role during the development of neurodegenerative disease, indicating that PGRN might be a useful biomarker for neurodegenerative diseases in clinical settings.
PMID: 35054815
ISSN: 1422-0067
CID: 5131762

Mechanical overloading induces GPX4-regulated chondrocyte ferroptosis in osteoarthritis via Piezo1 channel facilitated calcium influx

Wang, Shaoyi; Li, Weiwei; Zhang, Pengfei; Wang, Zihao; Ma, Xiaoyuan; Liu, Chuanju; Vasilev, Krasimir; Zhang, Lei; Zhou, Xiaocong; Liu, Liang; Hayball, John; Dong, Shuli; Li, Yuhua; Gao, Yuan; Cheng, Lei; Zhao, Yunpeng
Introductions: Excessive mechanical stress is closely associated with cell death in various conditions. Exposure of chondrocytes to excessive mechanical loading leads to a catabolic response as well as exaggerated cell death. Ferroptosis is a recently identified form of cell death during cell aging and degeneration. However, it's potential association with mechanical stress remains to be illustrated. Objectives: To identify whether excessive mechanical stress can cause ferroptosis. To explore the role of mechanical overloading in chondrocyte ferroptosis. Methods: Chondrocytes were collected from loading and unloading zones of cartilage in patients with osteoarthritis (OA), and the ferroptosis phenotype was analyzed through transmission electron microscope and microarray. Moreover, the relationship between ferroptosis and OA was analyzed by GPX4-conditional knockout (Col2a1-CreERT: GPX4flox/flox) mice OA model and chondrocytes cultured with high strain mechanical stress. Furthermore, the role of Piezo1 ion channel in chondrocyte ferroptosis and OA development was explored by using its inhibitor (GsMTx4) and agonist (Yoda1). Additionally, chondrocyte was cultured in calcium-free medium with mechanical stress, and ferroptosis phenotype was tested. Results: Human cartilage and mouse chondrocyte experiments revealed that mechanical overloading can induce GPX4-associated ferroptosis. Conditional knockout of GPX4 in cartilage aggravated experimental OA process, while additional treatment with ferroptosis suppressor protein (FSP-1) and coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) abated OA development in GPX4-CKO mice. In mouse OA model and chondrocyte experiments, inhibition of Piezo1 channel activity increased GPX4 expression, attenuated ferroptosis phenotype and reduced the severity of osteoarthritis. Additionally, high strain mechanical stress induced ferroptosis damage in chondrocyte was largely abolished by blocking calcium influx through calcium-free medium. Conclusions: Our findings show that mechanical overloading induces ferroptosis through Piezo1 activation and subsequent calcium influx in chondrocytes, which might provide a potential target for OA treatment.
ISSN: 2090-1232
CID: 5146822

Troxerutin-Mediated Complement Pathway Inhibition is a Disease-Modifying Treatment for Inflammatory Arthritis

Sahu, Debasis; Bishwal, Subasa Chandra; Malik, Md Zubbair; Sahu, Sukanya; Kaushik, Sandeep Rai; Sharma, Shikha; Saini, Ekta; Arya, Rakesh; Rastogi, Archana; Sharma, Sandeep; Sen, Shanta; Singh, R K Brojen; Liu, Chuan-Ju; Nanda, Ranjan Kumar; Panda, Amulya Kumar
Troxerutin (TXR) is a phytochemical reported to possess anti-inflammatory and hepatoprotective effects. In this study, we aimed to exploit the antiarthritic properties of TXR using an adjuvant-induced arthritic (AIA) rat model. AIA-induced rats showed the highest arthritis score at the disease onset and by oral administration of TXR (50, 100, and 200 mg/kg body weight), reduced to basal level in a dose-dependent manner. Isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitative (iTRAQ) proteomics tool were employed to identify deregulated joint homogenate proteins in AIA and TXR-treated rats to decipher the probable mechanism of TXR action in arthritis. iTRAQ analysis identified a set of 434 proteins with 65 deregulated proteins (log2 case/control≥1.5) in AIA. Expressions of a set of important proteins (AAT, T-kininogen, vimentin, desmin, and nucleophosmin) that could classify AIA from the healthy ones were validated using Western blot analysis. The Western blot data corroborated proteomics findings. In silico protein-protein interaction study of tissue-proteome revealed that complement component 9 (C9), the major building blocks of the membrane attack complex (MAC) responsible for sterile inflammation, get perturbed in AIA. Our dosimetry study suggests that a TXR dose of 200 mg/kg body weight for 15 days is sufficient to bring the arthritis score to basal levels in AIA rats. We have shown the importance of TXR as an antiarthritic agent in the AIA model and after additional investigation, its arthritic ameliorating properties could be exploited for clinical usability.
PMID: 35433699
ISSN: 2296-634x
CID: 5218122

14-3-3 epsilon is an intracellular component of TNFR2 receptor complex and its activation protects against osteoarthritis

Fu, Wenyu; Hettinghouse, Aubryanna; Chen, Yujianan; Hu, Wenhuo; Ding, Xiang; Chen, Meng; Ding, Yuanjing; Mundra, Jyoti; Song, Wenhao; Liu, Ronghan; Yi, Young-Su; Attur, Mukundan; Samuels, Jonathan; Strauss, Eric; Leucht, Philipp; Schwarzkopf, Ran; Liu, Chuan-Ju
OBJECTIVES/OBJECTIVE:Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common joint disease; however, the indeterminate nature of mechanisms by which OA develops has restrained advancement of therapeutic targets. TNF signalling has been implicated in the pathogenesis of OA. TNFR1 primarily mediates inflammation, whereas emerging evidences demonstrate that TNFR2 plays an anti-inflammatory and protective role in several diseases and conditions. This study aims to decipher TNFR2 signalling in chondrocytes and OA. METHODS:Biochemical copurification and proteomics screen were performed to isolate the intracellular cofactors of TNFR2 complex. Bulk and single cell RNA-seq were employed to determine 14-3-3 epsilon (14-3-3ε) expression in human normal and OA cartilage. Transcription factor activity screen was used to isolate the transcription factors downstream of TNFR2/14-3-3ε. Various cell-based assays and genetically modified mice with naturally occurring and surgically induced OA were performed to examine the importance of this pathway in chondrocytes and OA. RESULTS:Signalling molecule 14-3-3ε was identified as an intracellular component of TNFR2 complexes in chondrocytes in response to progranulin (PGRN), a growth factor known to protect against OA primarily through activating TNFR2. 14-3-3ε was downregulated in OA and its deficiency deteriorated OA. 14-3-3ε was required for PGRN regulation of chondrocyte metabolism. In addition, both global and chondrocyte-specific deletion of 14-3-3ε largely abolished PGRN's therapeutic effects against OA. Furthermore, PGRN/TNFR2/14-3-3ε signalled through activating extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)-dependent Elk-1 while suppressing nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) in chondrocytes. CONCLUSIONS:This study identifies 14-3-3ε as an inducible component of TNFR2 receptor complex in response to PGRN in chondrocytes and presents a previously unrecognised TNFR2 pathway in the pathogenesis of OA.
PMID: 34226187
ISSN: 1468-2060
CID: 4932152

Pinch Loss Ameliorates Obesity, Glucose Intolerance, and Fatty Liver by Modulating Adipocyte Apoptosis in Mice

Gao, Huanqing; Zhong, Yiming; Ding, Zhen; Lin, Sixiong; Hou, Xiaoting; Tang, Wanze; Zhou, Xiaoqian; Zou, Xuenong; Shao, Jie; Yang, Fan; Bai, Xiaochun; Liu, Chuanju; Cao, Huiling; Xiao, Guozhi
The mammalian focal adhesion proteins Pinch1/2 activate integrins and promote cell-extracellular matrix adhesion and migration; however, their roles in adipose tissue and metabolism are unclear. Here we find that high-fat diet (HFD) feeding dramatically increases expression of Pinch1/2 proteins in white adipose tissue (WAT) in mice. Furthermore, expression of Pinch1 is largely upregulated in WAT in leptin-deficient ob/ob type 2 diabetic mice and obese humans. While mice with loss of Pinch1 in adipocytes or global Pinch2 do not display any notable phenotypes, deleting Pinch1 in adipocytes and Pinch2 globally significantly decreases body weight and WAT mass, but not brown adipose tissue mass, in HFD-fed, but not normal chow diet-fed, mice. Pinch loss ameliorates HFD-induced glucose intolerance and fatty liver. After HFD challenge, Pinch loss slightly but significantly accelerates energy expenditure. While Pinch loss decreases adipocyte size and alters adipocyte size distribution, it greatly accelerates cell apoptosis primarily in epididymal WAT and to a lesser extent in subcutaneous WAT. In vitro studies demonstrate that Pinch loss accelerates adipocyte apoptosis by activating the Bim/Caspase-8 pathway. In vivo, genetic ablation of Caspase-8 expression in adipocytes essentially abolishes the ameliorating effects of Pinch deficiency on obesity, glucose intolerance, and fatty liver in mice. Thus, we demonstrate a previously unknown function of Pinch in control of adipose mass, glucose, and fat metabolism via modulation of adipocyte apoptosis. We may define a novel target for the prevention and treatment of metabolic diseases, such as obesity and diabetes.
PMID: 34380695
ISSN: 1939-327x
CID: 5090542