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Exostosin-1 enhances canonical Wnt signaling activity during chondrogenic differentiation

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

OBJECTIVE: Exostosin-1 (Ext1) encodes a glycosyltransferase required for heparan sulfate (HS) chain elongation in HS-proteoglycan biosynthesis. HS chains serve as binding partners for signaling proteins, affecting their distribution and activity. The Wnt/β-catenin pathway emerged as critical regulator of chondrogenesis. Yet, how EXT1 and HS affect Wnt/β-catenin signaling during chondrogenesis remains unexplored. METHOD: Ext1 was stably knocked-down or overexpressed in ATDC5 chondrogenic cells cultured as micromasses. HS content was determined using ELISA. Chondrogenic markers Sox9, Col2a1, Aggrecan, and Wnt direct target gene Axin2 were measured by RT-qPCR. Proteoglycan content was evaluated by Alcian blue and DMMB assay, canonical Wnt signaling activation by β-catenin Western blot and TOP/FOP assay. ATDC5 cells and human articular chondrocytes were treated with Wnt activators CHIR99021 and recombinant WNT3A. RESULTS: Ext1 knock-down reduced HS, and increased chondrogenic markers and proteoglycan accumulation. Ext1 knock-down reduced active Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Conversely, Ext1 overexpressing cells, with higher HS content, showed decreased chondrogenic differentiation and enhanced Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Wnt/β-catenin signaling activation led to a down-regulation of Ext1 expression in ATDC5 cells and in human articular chondrocytes. CONCLUSIONS: EXT1 affects chondrogenic differentiation of precursor cells, in part via changes in the activity of Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Wnt/β-catenin signaling controls Ext1 expression, suggesting a regulatory loop between EXT1 and Wnt/β-catenin signaling during chondrogenesis.
Journal: Osteoarthritis and Cartilage
ISSN: 1063-4584
Issue: 11
Volume: 27
Pages: 1702 - 1710
Number of pages: 9
Publication year:2019
BOF-publication weight:6
Authors from:Higher Education