ijms-logo

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Special Issue "Molecular Processes in Chondrocyte Biology"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Biochemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Toshihisa Komori
Website SciProfiles
Guest Editor
Department of Cell Biology, Nagasaki University
Interests: bone development and maintenance; chondrocyte differentiation and proliferation; osteoblast differentiation and proliferation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The molecular processes of endochondral ossification have been well studied. Chondrocyte differentiation and proliferation are regulated by many transcription factors and signaling pathways. They are also regulated by metabolism and ER stress in chondrocytes. Fate mapping experiments revealed the source of chondrocytes for skeletal growth and the transdifferentiation of chondrocytes to osteoblasts and stromal cells. A number of processes, including chondrocyte hypertrophy, inflammatory processes, and chondrocyte death, are involved in the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis. This Special Issue entitled “Molecular Processes in Chondrocyte Biology” focuses on recent progress in the molecular mechanisms of chondrocyte differentiation and proliferation and cartilage degradation.

Prof. Dr. Toshihisa Komori
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • chondrocyte
  • differentiation
  • proliferation
  • apoptosis
  • transcription factor
  • osteoarthritis
  • regeneration of cartilage
  • chondrocyte metabolism
  • ER stress
  • transdifferentiation
  • fate mapping

Published Papers (17 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessEditorial
Molecular Processes in Chondrocyte Biology
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(11), 4161; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21114161 - 11 Jun 2020
Abstract
Chondrocyte biology is a hot topic, because osteoarthritis (OA) is a serious problem in an aging society, but there are no fundamental therapeutic drugs [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Processes in Chondrocyte Biology)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Open AccessArticle
Roles of Interaction between CCN2 and Rab14 in Aggrecan Production by Chondrocytes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(8), 2769; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21082769 - 16 Apr 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
To identify proteins that cooperate with cellular communication network factor 2 (CCN2), we carried out GAL4-based yeast two-hybrid screening using a cDNA library derived from the chondrocytic cell line HCS-2/8. Rab14 GTPase (Rab14) polypeptide was selected as a CCN2-interactive protein. The interaction between [...] Read more.
To identify proteins that cooperate with cellular communication network factor 2 (CCN2), we carried out GAL4-based yeast two-hybrid screening using a cDNA library derived from the chondrocytic cell line HCS-2/8. Rab14 GTPase (Rab14) polypeptide was selected as a CCN2-interactive protein. The interaction between CCN2 and Rab14 in HCS-2/8 cells was confirmed using the in situ proximity ligation assay. We also found that CCN2 interacted with Rab14 through its IGFBP-like domain among the four domains in CCN2 protein. To detect the colocalization between CCN2 and Rab14 in the cells in detail, CCN2, wild-type Rab14 (Rab14WT), a constitutive active form (Rab14CA), and a dominant negative form (Rab14DN) of Rab14 were overexpressed in monkey kidney-tissue derived COS7 cells. Ectopically overexpressed Rab14 showed a diffuse cytosolic distribution in COS7 cells; however, when Rab14WT was overexpressed with CCN2, the Rab14WT distribution changed to dots that were evenly distributed within the cytosol, and both Rab14 and CCN2 showed clear colocalization. When Rab14CA was overexpressed with CCN2, Rab14CA and CCN2 also showed good localization as dots, but their distribution was more widespread within cytosol. The coexpression of Rab14DN and CCN2 also showed a dotted codistribution but was more concentrated in the perinuclear area. Quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) analysis revealed that the reduction in RAB14 or CCN2 mRNA by their respective siRNA significantly enhanced the expression of ER stress markers, BIP and CHOP mRNA in HCS-2/8 chondrocytic cells, suggesting that ER and Golgi stress were induced by the inhibition of membrane vesicle transfer via the suppression of CCN2 or Rab14. Moreover, to study the effect of the interaction between CCN2 and its interactive protein Rab14 on proteoglycan synthesis, we overexpressed Rab14WT or Rab14CA or Rab14DN in HCS-2/8 cells and found that the overexpression of Rab14DN decreased the extracellular proteoglycan accumulation more than the overexpression of Rab14WT/CA did in the chondrocytic cells. These results suggest that intracellular CCN2 is associated with Rab14 on proteoglycan-containing vesicles during their transport from the Golgi apparatus to endosomes in chondrocytes and that this association may play a role in proteoglycan secretion by chondrocytes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Processes in Chondrocyte Biology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Understanding the Action of RARγ Agonists on Human Osteochondroma Explants
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(8), 2686; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21082686 - 13 Apr 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Osteochondromas are cartilage-capped growths located proximate to the physis that can cause skeletal deformities, pain, limited motion, and neurovascular impingement. Previous studies have demonstrated retinoic acid receptor gamma (RARγ) agonists to inhibit ectopic endochondral ossification, therefore we hypothesize that RARγ agonists can target [...] Read more.
Osteochondromas are cartilage-capped growths located proximate to the physis that can cause skeletal deformities, pain, limited motion, and neurovascular impingement. Previous studies have demonstrated retinoic acid receptor gamma (RARγ) agonists to inhibit ectopic endochondral ossification, therefore we hypothesize that RARγ agonists can target on established osteochondromas. The purpose of this study was to examine the action of RARγ agonist in human osteochondromas. Osteochondroma specimens were obtained during surgery, subjected to explant culture and were treated with RARγ agonists or vehicles. Gene expression analysis confirmed the up-regulation of RARγ target genes in the explants treated with NRX 204647 and Palovarotene and revealed strong inhibition of cartilage matrix and increased extracellular matrix proteases gene expression. In addition, immunohistochemical staining for the neoepitope of protease-cleaved aggrecan indicated that RARγ agonist treatment stimulated cartilage matrix degradation. Interestingly, cell survival studies demonstrated that RARγ agonist treatment stimulated cell death. Moreover, RNA sequencing analysis indicates changes in multiple molecular pathways due to RARγ agonists treatment, showing similarly to human growth plate chondrocytes. Together, these findings suggest that RARγ agonist may exert anti-tumor function on osteochondromas by inhibiting matrix synthesis, promoting cartilage matrix degradation and stimulating cell death. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Processes in Chondrocyte Biology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Expression of a Constitutively Active Form of Hck in Chondrocytes Activates Wnt and Hedgehog Signaling Pathways, and Induces Chondrocyte Proliferation in Mice
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(8), 2682; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21082682 - 12 Apr 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Runx2 is required for chondrocyte proliferation and maturation. In the search of Runx2 target genes in chondrocytes, we found that Runx2 up-regulated the expression of hematopoietic cell kinase (Hck), which is a member of the Src tyrosine kinase family, in chondrocytes, [...] Read more.
Runx2 is required for chondrocyte proliferation and maturation. In the search of Runx2 target genes in chondrocytes, we found that Runx2 up-regulated the expression of hematopoietic cell kinase (Hck), which is a member of the Src tyrosine kinase family, in chondrocytes, that Hck expression was high in cartilaginous limb skeletons of wild-type mice but low in those of Runx2–/– mice, and that Runx2 bound the promoter region of Hck. To investigate the functions of Hck in chondrocytes, transgenic mice expressing a constitutively active form of Hck (HckCA) were generated using the Col2a1 promoter/enhancer. The hind limb skeletons were fused, the tibia became a large, round mass, and the growth plate was markedly disorganized. Chondrocyte maturation was delayed until E16.5 but accelerated thereafter. BrdU-labeled, but not terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL)-positive, chondrocytes were increased. Furthermore, Hck knock-down reduced the proliferation of primary chondrocytes. In microarray and real-time RT-PCR analyses using hind limb RNA from HckCA transgenic mice, the expression of Wnt (Wnt10b, Tcf7, Lef1, Dkk1) and hedgehog (Ihh, Ptch1, and Gli1) signaling pathway genes was upregulated. These findings indicated that Hck, whose expression is regulated by Runx2, is highly expressed in chondrocytes, and that HckCA activates Wnt and hedgehog signaling pathways, and promotes chondrocyte proliferation without increasing apoptosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Processes in Chondrocyte Biology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Antxr1, Which is a Target of Runx2, Regulates Chondrocyte Proliferation and Apoptosis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(7), 2425; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21072425 - 31 Mar 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Antxr1/Tem8 is highly expressed in tumor endothelial cells and is a receptor for anthrax toxin. Mutation of Antxr1 causes GAPO syndrome, which is characterized by growth retardation, alopecia, pseudo-anodontia, and optic atrophy. However, the mechanism underlying the growth retardation remains to be clarified. [...] Read more.
Antxr1/Tem8 is highly expressed in tumor endothelial cells and is a receptor for anthrax toxin. Mutation of Antxr1 causes GAPO syndrome, which is characterized by growth retardation, alopecia, pseudo-anodontia, and optic atrophy. However, the mechanism underlying the growth retardation remains to be clarified. Runx2 is essential for osteoblast differentiation and chondrocyte maturation and regulates chondrocyte proliferation through Ihh induction. In the search of Runx2 target genes in chondrocytes, we found that Antxr1 expression is upregulated by Runx2. Antxr1 was highly expressed in cartilaginous tissues and was directly regulated by Runx2. In skeletal development, the process of endochondral ossification proceeded similarly in wild-type and Antxr1–/– mice. However, the limbs of Antxr1–/– mice were shorter than those of wild-type mice from embryonic day 16.5 due to the reduced chondrocyte proliferation. Chondrocyte-specific Antxr1 transgenic mice exhibited shortened limbs, although the process of endochondral ossification proceeded as in wild-type mice. BrdU-uptake and apoptosis were both increased in chondrocytes, and the apoptosis-high regions were mineralized. These findings indicated that Antxr1, of which the expression is regulated by Runx2, plays an important role in chondrocyte proliferation and that overexpression of Antxr1 causes chondrocyte apoptosis accompanied by matrix mineralization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Processes in Chondrocyte Biology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessCommunication
Expression and Role of IL-1β Signaling in Chondrocytes Associated with Retinoid Signaling during Fracture Healing
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(7), 2365; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21072365 - 29 Mar 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
The process of fracture healing consists of an inflammatory reaction and cartilage and bone tissue reconstruction. The inflammatory cytokine interleukin-1β (IL-1β) signal is an important major factor in fracture healing, whereas its relevance to retinoid receptor (an RAR inverse agonist, which promotes endochondral [...] Read more.
The process of fracture healing consists of an inflammatory reaction and cartilage and bone tissue reconstruction. The inflammatory cytokine interleukin-1β (IL-1β) signal is an important major factor in fracture healing, whereas its relevance to retinoid receptor (an RAR inverse agonist, which promotes endochondral bone formation) remains unclear. Herein, we investigated the expressions of IL-1β and retinoic acid receptor gamma (RARγ) in a rat fracture model and the effects of IL-1β in the presence of one of several RAR inverse agonists on chondrocytes. An immunohistochemical analysis revealed that IL-1β and RARγ were expressed in chondrocytes at the fracture site in the rat ribs on day 7 post-fracture. In chondrogenic ATDC5 cells, IL-1β decreases the levels of aggrecan and type II collagen but significantly increased the metalloproteinase-13 (Mmp13) mRNA by real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis. An RAR inverse agonist (AGN194310) inhibited IL-1β-stimulated Mmp13 and Ccn2 mRNA in a dose-dependent manner. Phosphorylated extracellular signal regulated-kinases (pERK1/2) and p-p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) were increased time-dependently by IL-1β treatment, and the IL-1β-induced p-p38 MAPK was inhibited by AGN194310. Experimental p38 inhibition led to a drop in the IL-1β-stimulated expressions of Mmp13 and Ccn2 mRNA. MMP13, CCN2, and p-p38 MAPK were expressed in hypertrophic chondrocytes near the invaded vascular endothelial cells. As a whole, these results point to role of the IL-1β via p38 MAPK as important signaling in the regulation of the endochondral bone formation in fracture healing, and to the actions of RAR inverse agonists as potentially relevant modulators of this process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Processes in Chondrocyte Biology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Galectin 3 Deficiency Alters Chondrocyte Primary Cilium Formation and Exacerbates Cartilage Destruction via Mitochondrial Apoptosis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(4), 1486; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21041486 - 22 Feb 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Mechanical overload and aging are the main risk factors of osteoarthritis (OA). Galectin 3 (GAL3) is important in the formation of primary cilia, organelles that are able to sense mechanical stress. The objectives were to evaluate the role of GAL3 in chondrocyte primary [...] Read more.
Mechanical overload and aging are the main risk factors of osteoarthritis (OA). Galectin 3 (GAL3) is important in the formation of primary cilia, organelles that are able to sense mechanical stress. The objectives were to evaluate the role of GAL3 in chondrocyte primary cilium formation and in OA in mice. Chondrocyte primary cilium was detected in vitro by confocal microscopy. OA was induced by aging and partial meniscectomy of wild-type (WT) and Gal3-null 129SvEV mice (Gal3−/−). Primary chondrocytes were isolated from joints of new-born mice. Chondrocyte apoptosis was assessed by Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL), caspase 3 activity and cytochrome c release. Gene expression was assessed by qRT-PCR. GAL3 was localized at the basal body of the chondrocyte primary cilium. Primary cilia of Gal3−/− chondrocytes were frequently abnormal and misshapen. Deletion of Gal3 triggered premature OA during aging and exacerbated joint instability-induced OA. In both aging and surgery-induced OA cartilage, levels of chondrocyte catabolism and hypertrophy markers and apoptosis were more severe in Gal3−/− than WT samples. In vitro, Gal3 knockout favored chondrocyte apoptosis via the mitochondrial pathway. GAL3 is a key regulator of cartilage homeostasis and chondrocyte primary cilium formation in mice. Gal3 deletion promotes OA development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Processes in Chondrocyte Biology)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Transcriptomic and Proteomic Analyses Reveal the Potential Mode of Action of Chondrocyte Sheets in Hyaline Cartilage Regeneration
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(1), 149; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21010149 - 24 Dec 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Chondrocyte sheet transplantation is a novel and promising approach to treating patients who have cartilage defects associated with osteoarthritis. Hyaline cartilage regeneration by autologous chondrocyte sheets has already been demonstrated in clinical research. In this study, the efficacy of polydactyly-derived chondrocyte sheets (PD [...] Read more.
Chondrocyte sheet transplantation is a novel and promising approach to treating patients who have cartilage defects associated with osteoarthritis. Hyaline cartilage regeneration by autologous chondrocyte sheets has already been demonstrated in clinical research. In this study, the efficacy of polydactyly-derived chondrocyte sheets (PD sheets) as an allogeneic alternative to standard chondrocyte sheets was examined using an orthotopic xenogeneic transplantation model. In addition, the expression of genes and the secreted proteins in the PD sheets was analyzed using a microarray and a DNA aptamer array. The efficacy of PD sheets with respect to cartilage defects was assessed using histological scores, after which the expressions of genes and proteins exhibiting a correlation to efficacy were identified. Enrichment analysis of efficacy-correlated genes and proteins showed that they were associated with extracellular matrices, skeletal development, and angiogenesis. Eight genes (ESM1, GREM1, SERPINA3, DKK1, MIA, NTN4, FABP3, and PDGFA) exhibited a positive correlation with the efficacy of PD sheets, and three genes (RARRES2, APOE, and PGF) showed a negative correlation for both transcriptomic and proteomic analyses. Among these, MIA, DKK1, and GREM1 involved in skeletal development pathways and ESM1 involved in the angiogenesis pathway exhibited a correlation between the amount of secretion and efficacy. These results suggest that these secreted factors may prove useful for predicting PD sheet efficacy and may therefore contribute to hyaline cartilage regeneration via PD sheets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Processes in Chondrocyte Biology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Proteome Alterations in Equine Osteochondrotic Chondrocytes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(24), 6179; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20246179 - 07 Dec 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Osteochondrosis is a failure of the endochondral ossification that affects developing joints in humans and several animal species. It is a localized idiopathic joint disorder characterized by focal chondronecrosis and growing cartilage retention, which can lead to the formation of fissures, subchondral bone [...] Read more.
Osteochondrosis is a failure of the endochondral ossification that affects developing joints in humans and several animal species. It is a localized idiopathic joint disorder characterized by focal chondronecrosis and growing cartilage retention, which can lead to the formation of fissures, subchondral bone cysts, or intra-articular fragments. Osteochondrosis is a complex multifactorial disease associated with extracellular matrix alterations and failure in chondrocyte differentiation, mainly due to genetic, biochemical, and nutritional factors, as well as traumas. This study describes the main proteomic alterations occurring in chondrocytes isolated from osteochondrotic cartilage fragments. A comparative analysis performed on equine osteochondrotic and healthy chondrocytes showed 26 protein species as differentially represented. In particular, quantitative changes in the extracellular matrix, cytoskeletal and chaperone proteins, and in cell adhesion and signaling molecules were observed in osteochondrotic cells, compared to healthy controls. Functional group analysis annotated most of these proteins in “growth plate and cartilage development”, while others were included in “glycolysis and gluconeogenesis”, “positive regulation of protein import”, “cell–cell adhesion mediator activity”, and “mitochondrion nucleoid”. These results may help to clarify some chondrocyte functional alterations that may play a significant role in determining the onset and progression of equine osteochondrosis and, being related, of human juvenile osteochondrosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Processes in Chondrocyte Biology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Alteration of the Total Cellular Glycome during Late Differentiation of Chondrocytes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(14), 3546; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20143546 - 19 Jul 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
In normal articular cartilage, chondrocytes do not readily proliferate or terminally differentiate, and exhibit a low level of metabolism. Hypertrophy-like changes of chondrocytes have been proposed to play a role in the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis by inducing protease-mediated cartilage degradation and calcification; however, [...] Read more.
In normal articular cartilage, chondrocytes do not readily proliferate or terminally differentiate, and exhibit a low level of metabolism. Hypertrophy-like changes of chondrocytes have been proposed to play a role in the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis by inducing protease-mediated cartilage degradation and calcification; however, the molecular mechanisms underlying these changes are unclear. Glycans are located on the outermost cell surface. Dynamic cellular differentiation can be monitored and quantitatively characterized by profiling the glycan structures of total cellular glycoproteins. This study aimed to clarify the alterations in glycans upon late differentiation of chondrocytes, during which hypertrophy-like changes occur. Primary mouse chondrocytes were differentiated using an insulin-induced chondro-osteogenic differentiation model. Comprehensive glycomics, including N-glycans, O-glycans, free oligosaccharides, glycosaminoglycan, and glycosphingolipid, were analyzed for the chondrocytes after 0-, 10- and 20-days cultivation. The comparison and clustering of the alteration of glycans upon hypertrophy-like changes of primary chondrocytes were performed. Comprehensive glycomic analyses provided complementary alterations in the levels of various glycans derived from glycoconjugates during hypertrophic differentiation. In addition, expression of genes related to glycan biosynthesis and metabolic processes was significantly correlated with glycan alterations. Our results indicate that total cellular glycan alterations are closely associated with chondrocyte hypertrophy and help to describe the glycophenotype by chondrocytes and their hypertrophic differentiation. our results will assist the identification of diagnostic and differentiation biomarkers in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Processes in Chondrocyte Biology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research

Open AccessReview
Retrotransposons Manipulating Mammalian Skeletal Development in Chondrocytes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(5), 1564; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21051564 - 25 Feb 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Retrotransposons are genetic elements that copy and paste themselves in the host genome through transcription, reverse-transcription, and integration processes. Along with their proliferation in the genome, retrotransposons inevitably modify host genes around the integration sites, and occasionally create novel genes. Even now, a [...] Read more.
Retrotransposons are genetic elements that copy and paste themselves in the host genome through transcription, reverse-transcription, and integration processes. Along with their proliferation in the genome, retrotransposons inevitably modify host genes around the integration sites, and occasionally create novel genes. Even now, a number of retrotransposons are still actively editing our genomes. As such, their profound role in the evolution of mammalian genomes is obvious; thus, their contribution to mammalian skeletal evolution and development is also unquestionable. In mammals, most of the skeletal parts are formed and grown through a process entitled endochondral ossification, in which chondrocytes play central roles. In this review, current knowledge on the evolutional, physiological, and pathological roles of retrotransposons in mammalian chondrocyte differentiation and cartilage development is summarized. The possible biological impact of these mobile genetic elements in the future is also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Processes in Chondrocyte Biology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Pathomechanisms of Posttraumatic Osteoarthritis: Chondrocyte Behavior and Fate in a Precarious Environment
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(5), 1560; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21051560 - 25 Feb 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Traumatic injuries of the knee joint result in a wide variety of pathomechanisms, which contribute to the development of so-called posttraumatic osteoarthritis (PTOA). These pathogenetic processes include oxidative stress, excessive expression of catabolic enzymes, release of damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs), and synovial inflammation. [...] Read more.
Traumatic injuries of the knee joint result in a wide variety of pathomechanisms, which contribute to the development of so-called posttraumatic osteoarthritis (PTOA). These pathogenetic processes include oxidative stress, excessive expression of catabolic enzymes, release of damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs), and synovial inflammation. The present review focuses on the underlying pathomechanisms of PTOA and in particular the behavior and fate of the surviving chondrocytes, comprising chondrocyte metabolism, regulated cell death, and phenotypical changes comprising hypertrophy and senescence. Moreover, possible therapeutic strategies, such as chondroanabolic stimulation, anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory treatment, as well as novel therapeutic targets are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Processes in Chondrocyte Biology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Role of Signal Transduction Pathways and Transcription Factors in Cartilage and Joint Diseases
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(4), 1340; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21041340 - 17 Feb 2020
Cited by 6
Abstract
Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are common cartilage and joint diseases that globally affect more than 200 million and 20 million people, respectively. Several transcription factors have been implicated in the onset and progression of osteoarthritis, including Runx2, C/EBPβ, HIF2α, Sox4, and Sox11. Interleukin-1 [...] Read more.
Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are common cartilage and joint diseases that globally affect more than 200 million and 20 million people, respectively. Several transcription factors have been implicated in the onset and progression of osteoarthritis, including Runx2, C/EBPβ, HIF2α, Sox4, and Sox11. Interleukin-1 β (IL-1β) leads to osteoarthritis through NF-ĸB, IκBζ, and the Zn2+-ZIP8-MTF1 axis. IL-1, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) play a major pathological role in rheumatoid arthritis through NF-ĸB and JAK/STAT pathways. Indeed, inhibitory reagents for IL-1, IL-6, and TNFα provide clinical benefits for rheumatoid arthritis patients. Several growth factors, such as bone morphogenetic protein (BMP), fibroblast growth factor (FGF), parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP), and Indian hedgehog, play roles in regulating chondrocyte proliferation and differentiation. Disruption and excess of these signaling pathways cause genetic disorders in cartilage and skeletal tissues. Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressive, an autosomal genetic disorder characterized by ectopic ossification, is induced by mutant ACVR1. Mechanistic target of rapamycin kinase (mTOR) inhibitors can prevent ectopic ossification induced by ACVR1 mutations. C-type natriuretic peptide is currently the most promising therapy for achondroplasia and related autosomal genetic diseases that manifest severe dwarfism. In these ways, investigation of cartilage and chondrocyte diseases at molecular and cellular levels has enlightened the development of effective therapies. Thus, identification of signaling pathways and transcription factors implicated in these diseases is important. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Processes in Chondrocyte Biology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Dual Role of Chondrocytes in Rheumatoid Arthritis: The Chicken and the Egg
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(3), 1071; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21031071 - 06 Feb 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is one of the inflammatory joint diseases that display features of articular cartilage destruction. The underlying disturbance results from immune dysregulation that directly and indirectly influence chondrocyte physiology. In the last years, significant evidence inferred from studies in vitro and [...] Read more.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is one of the inflammatory joint diseases that display features of articular cartilage destruction. The underlying disturbance results from immune dysregulation that directly and indirectly influence chondrocyte physiology. In the last years, significant evidence inferred from studies in vitro and in the animal model offered a more holistic vision of chondrocytes in RA. Chondrocytes, despite being one of injured cells in RA, also undergo molecular alterations to actively participate in inflammation and matrix destruction in the human rheumatoid joint. This review covers current knowledge about the specific cellular and biochemical mechanisms that account for the chondrocyte signatures of RA and its potential applications for diagnosis and prognosis in RA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Processes in Chondrocyte Biology)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessReview
Insights into Gene Regulatory Networks in Chondrocytes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(24), 6324; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20246324 - 15 Dec 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Chondrogenesis is a key developmental process that molds the framework of our body and generates the skeletal tissues by coupling with osteogenesis. The developmental processes are well-coordinated by spatiotemporal gene expressions, which are hardwired with gene regulatory elements. Those elements exist as thousands [...] Read more.
Chondrogenesis is a key developmental process that molds the framework of our body and generates the skeletal tissues by coupling with osteogenesis. The developmental processes are well-coordinated by spatiotemporal gene expressions, which are hardwired with gene regulatory elements. Those elements exist as thousands of modules of DNA sequences on the genome. Transcription factors function as key regulatory proteins by binding to regulatory elements and recruiting cofactors. Over the past 30 years, extensive attempts have been made to identify gene regulatory mechanisms in chondrogenesis, mainly through biochemical approaches and genetics. More recently, newly developed next-generation sequencers (NGS) have identified thousands of gene regulatory elements on a genome scale, and provided novel insights into the multiple layers of gene regulatory mechanisms, including the modes of actions of transcription factors, post-translational histone modifications, chromatin accessibility, the concept of pioneer factors, and three-dimensional chromatin architecture. In this review, we summarize the studies that have improved our understanding of the gene regulatory mechanisms in chondrogenesis, from the historical studies to the more recent works using NGS. Finally, we consider the future perspectives, including efforts to improve our understanding of the gene regulatory landscape in chondrogenesis and potential applications to the treatment of chondrocyte-related diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Processes in Chondrocyte Biology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
NF-κB Signaling Regulates Physiological and Pathological Chondrogenesis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(24), 6275; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20246275 - 12 Dec 2019
Cited by 8
Abstract
The nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) is a transcription factor that regulates the expression of genes that control cell proliferation and apoptosis, as well as genes that respond to inflammation and immune responses. There are two means of NF-κB activation: the classical pathway, which involves [...] Read more.
The nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) is a transcription factor that regulates the expression of genes that control cell proliferation and apoptosis, as well as genes that respond to inflammation and immune responses. There are two means of NF-κB activation: the classical pathway, which involves the degradation of the inhibitor of κBα (IκBα), and the alternative pathway, which involves the NF-κB-inducing kinase (NIK, also known as MAP3K14). The mouse growth plate consists of the resting zone, proliferative zone, prehypertrophic zone, and hypertrophic zone. The p65 (RelA), which plays a central role in the classical pathway, is expressed throughout the cartilage layer, from the resting zone to the hypertrophic zone. Inhibiting the classical NF-κB signaling pathway blocks growth hormone (GH) or insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) signaling, suppresses cell proliferation, and suppresses bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP2) expression, thereby promoting apoptosis. Since the production of autoantibodies and inflammatory cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα), interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, and IL-17, are regulated by the classical pathways and are increased in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), NF-κB inhibitors are used to suppress inflammation and joint destruction in RA models. In osteoarthritis (OA) models, the strength of NF-κB-activation is found to regulate the facilitation or suppression of OA. On the other hand, RelB is involved in the alternative pathway, and is expressed in the periarticular zone during the embryonic period of development. The alternative pathway is involved in the generation of chondrocytes in the proliferative zone during physiological conditions, and in the development of RA and OA during pathological conditions. Thus, NF-κB is an important molecule that controls normal development and the pathological destruction of cartilage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Processes in Chondrocyte Biology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Growth Plate Chondrocytes: Skeletal Development, Growth and Beyond
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(23), 6009; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20236009 - 29 Nov 2019
Cited by 6
Abstract
Growth plate chondrocytes play central roles in the proper development and growth of endochondral bones. Particularly, a population of chondrocytes in the resting zone expressing parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) is now recognized as skeletal stem cells, defined by their ability to undergo self-renewal [...] Read more.
Growth plate chondrocytes play central roles in the proper development and growth of endochondral bones. Particularly, a population of chondrocytes in the resting zone expressing parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) is now recognized as skeletal stem cells, defined by their ability to undergo self-renewal and clonally give rise to columnar chondrocytes in the postnatal growth plate. These chondrocytes also possess the ability to differentiate into a multitude of cell types including osteoblasts and bone marrow stromal cells during skeletal development. Using single-cell transcriptomic approaches and in vivo lineage tracing technology, it is now possible to further elucidate their molecular properties and cellular fate changes. By discovering the fundamental molecular characteristics of these cells, it may be possible to harness their functional characteristics for skeletal growth and regeneration. Here, we discuss our current understanding of the molecular signatures defining growth plate chondrocytes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Processes in Chondrocyte Biology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop