Apoptosis is a highly-regulated, active process of cell death involved in development, homeostasis and aging. Dysregulation of apoptosis leads to pathological states, such as cancer, developmental anomalies and degenerative diseases. Osteoarthritis (OA), the most common chronic joint disease in the elderly population, is characterized by progressive destruction of articular cartilage, resulting in significant disability. Because articular cartilage depends solely on its resident cells, the chondrocytes, for the maintenance of extracellular matrix, the compromising of chondrocyte function and survival would lead to the failure of the articular cartilage. The role of subchondral bone in the maintenance of proper cartilage matrix has been suggested as well, and it has been proposed that both articular cartilage and subchondral bone interact with each other in the maintenance of articular integrity and physiology. Some investigators include both articular cartilage and subchondral bone as targets for repairing joint degeneration. In late-stage OA, the cartilage becomes hypocellular, often accompanied by lacunar emptying, which has been considered as evidence that chondrocyte death is a central feature in OA progression. Apoptosis clearly occurs in osteoarthritic cartilage; however, the relative contribution of chondrocyte apoptosis in the pathogenesis of OA is difficult to evaluate, and contradictory reports exist on the rate of apoptotic chondrocytes in osteoarthritic cartilage. It is not clear whether chondrocyte apoptosis is the inducer of cartilage degeneration or a byproduct of cartilage destruction. Chondrocyte death and matrix loss may form a vicious cycle, with the progression of one aggravating the other, and the literature reveals that there is a definite correlation between the degree of cartilage damage and chondrocyte apoptosis. Because current treatments for OA act only on symptoms and do not prevent or cure OA, chondrocyte apoptosis would be a valid target to modulate cartilage degeneration.
IntroductionFibronectin fragments (FN-fs) are increased in the cartilage of patients with osteoarthritis (OA) and have a potent chondrolytic effect. However, little is known about the cellular receptors and signaling mechanisms that are mediated by FN-fs. We investigated whether the 29-kDa amino-terminal fibronectin fragment (29-kDa FN-f) regulates cartilage catabolism via the Toll-like receptor (TLR)-2 signaling pathway in human chondrocytes.MethodsSmall interfering RNA was used to knock down TLR-2 and myeloid differentiation factor 88 (MyD88). TLR-2 was overexpressed in chondrocytes transfected with a TLR-2 expression plasmid. The expression levels of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1, MMP-3, and MMP-13 were analyzed using quantitative real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reactions, immunoblotting, or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The effect of TLR-2 on 29-kDa FN-f-mediated signaling pathways was investigated by immunoblotting.ResultsTLR-2, TLR-3, TLR-4, and TLR-5 mRNA were significantly overexpressed in OA cartilage compared with normal cartilage, whereas no significant difference of TLR-1 mRNA expression was found. 29-kDa FN-f significantly increased TLR-2 expression in human chondrocytes in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Knockdown of TLR-2 or MyD88, the latter a downstream adaptor of TLR-2, significantly inhibited 29-kDa FN-f-induced MMP production at the mRNA and protein levels. Conversely, TLR-2 overexpression led to enhanced MMP production by 29-kDa FN-f. In addition, TLR-2 knockdown apparently inhibited 29-kDa FN-f-mediated activation of phosphorylated nuclear factor of kappa light polypeptide gene enhancer in B-cells inhibitor, alpha, and p38, but not of c-Jun N-terminal kinase or extracellular signal-regulated kinase. Exposure to synovial fluid (SF) from affected joints of patients with OA elevated MMP-1, MMP-3, and MMP-13 expression markedly in primary chondrocytes without reducing cell viability. However, TLR-2 knockdown in chondrocytes significantly suppressed SF-induced MMP induction.ConclusionsOur data demonstrate that the MyD88-dependent TLR-2 signaling pathway may be responsible for 29-kDa FN-f-mediated cartilage catabolic responses. Our results will enhance understanding of cartilage catabolic mechanisms driven by cartilage degradation products, including FN-f. The modulation of TLR-2 signaling activated by damage-associated molecular patterns, including 29-kDa FN-f, is a potential therapeutic strategy for the prevention of cartilage degradation in OA.Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13075-015-0833-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Dual-specificity protein phosphatases (DUSPs), which dephosphorylate both phosphoserine/threonine and phosphotyrosine, play vital roles in immune activation, brain function and cell-growth signalling. A family-wide structural library of human DUSPs was constructed based on experimental structure determination supplemented with homology modelling. The catalytic domain of each individual DUSP has characteristic features in the active site and in surface-charge distribution, indicating substrate-interaction specificity. The active-site loop-to-strand switch occurs in a subtype-specific manner, indicating that the switch process is necessary for characteristic substrate interactions in the corresponding DUSPs. A comprehensive analysis of the activity-inhibition profile and active-site geometry of DUSPs revealed a novel role of the active-pocket structure in the substrate specificity of DUSPs. A structure-based analysis of redox responses indicated that the additional cysteine residues are important for the protection of enzyme activity. The family-wide structures of DUSPs form a basis for the understanding of phosphorylation-mediated signal transduction and the development of therapeutics.
Recent investigations with young, healthy adult subjects suggest that static stretching before activity decreases performance and should, therefore, be avoided. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of an acute static stretching protocol on balance and jump/hop performance in active middle-aged adults. Ten subjects (6 men and 4 women aged 40-60 yr) from a martial arts school volunteered to take part in this research study. This was a repeated measures design. Subjects who stretched for 10 minutes using a 30-second hold during 1 session sat quietly for 10 minutes during the alternate session. Sessions were randomly assigned. The following dependent variables were compared: Dynamic Stability Index (DSI) for single-leg dynamic balance (smaller DSI = improved balance); distances for broad jump, single hop, triple hop, and crossover hop; elapsed time for a 6-m timed hop. Group means for balance were significantly different between the stretch and no-stretch conditions (3.5 +/- 0.7 vs. 4.3 +/- 1.4 DSI, respectively; p < 0.05). No significant differences were found between the group means of the stretch and no-stretch conditions for the dependent measures of broad jump, single hop, triple hop, crossover hop, and 6-m timed hop performance. Ten minutes of acute static stretching enhances dynamic balance and does not affect jump/hop performance in active middle-aged adults. Static stretching should be included before competition and before exercise in fitness programs of active middle-aged adults.
Endothelial Per-Arnt-Sim domain protein-1/hypoxia-inducible factor-2α (EPAS-1/ HIF-2α) is a catabolic transcription factor that regulates osteoarthritis (OA)-related cartilage destruction. Here, we examined whether microRNA-365 (miR-365) affects interleukin (IL)-1β-induced expression of catabolic factors in chondrocytes via regulation of HIF-2α. MiR-365 levels were significantly decreased in human OA cartilage relative to normal cartilage. Overexpression of miR-365 significantly suppressed IL-1β-induced expression of HIF-2α in human articular chondrocytes. Pharmacological inhibition of various IL-1β-associated signaling pathways revealed mitogen-activated protein kinase and nuclear factor-κB as the primary pathways driving IL-1β-mediated decreases in miR-365 and subsequent increase in HIF-2α expression. Using a luciferase reporter assay encoding the 3′ untranslated region (UTR) of human HIF-2α mRNA, we showed that overexpression of miR-365 significantly suppressed IL-1β-induced up-regulation of HIF-2α. AGO2 RNA-immunoprecipitation (IP) assay demonstrated that miR-365 and HIF-2α mRNA were enriched in the AGO2-IP fraction in miR-365-transfected primary chondrocytes compared to miR-con-transfected cells, indicating that HIF-2α is a target of miR-365. Furthermore, miR-365 overexpression significantly suppressed IL-1β-induced expression of catabolic factors, including cyclooxygenase-2 and matrix metalloproteinase-1, -3 and -13, in chondrocytes. In pellet culture of primary chondrocytes miR-365 prevented IL-1β-stimulated extracellular matrix loss and matrix metalloproteinase-13 expression. MiR-365 regulates IL-1β-stimulated catabolic effects in human chondrocytes by modulating HIF-2α expression.
Oxidative stress is one of the major causes of neuronal cell death in disorders such as perinatal hypoxia and ischemia. Protein phosphorylation is the most significant PTM of proteins and plays an important role in stress-induced signal transduction. Thus, the analysis of alternative protein phosphorylation states which occur during oxidative stress-induced cell death could provide valuable information regarding cell death. In this study, a reference phosphoproteome map of the mouse hippocampal cell line HT22 was constructed based on 125 spots that were identified by MALDI-TOF or LC-ESI-Q-TOF-MS analysis. In addition, proteins of HT22 cells at various stages of oxidative stress-induced cell death were separated by 2-DE and alterations in phosphoproteins were detected by Pro-Q Diamond staining. A total of 17 spots showing significant quantitative changes and seven newly appearing spots were identified after glutamate treatment. Splicing factor 2, peroxiredoxin 2, S100 calcium binding protein A11, and purine nucleoside phosphorylase were identified as up- or down-regulated proteins. CDC25A, caspase-8, and cyp51 protein appeared during oxidative stress-induced cell death. The data in this study from phosphoproteomic analysis provide a valuable resource for the understanding of HT22 cell death mechanisms mediated by oxidative stress.
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