Tendons are extracellular matrix (ECM)-rich structures that mediate muscle attachments with the skeleton, but surprisingly little is known about molecular mechanisms of attachment. Individual myofibers and tenocytes in Drosophila interact through integrin (Itg) ligands such as Thrombospondin (Tsp), while vertebrate muscles attach to complex ECM fibrils embedded with tenocytes . We show for the first time that a vertebrate thrombospondin, Tsp4b, is essential for muscle attachment and ECM assembly at myotendinous junctions (MTJs). Tsp4b depletion in zebrafish causes muscle detachment upon contraction due to defects in laminin localization and reduced Itg signaling at MTJs. Mutation of its oligomerization domain renders Tsp4b unable to rescue these defects, demonstrating that pentamerization is required for ECM assembly. Furthermore, injected human TSP4 localizes to zebrafish MTJs and rescues muscle detachment and ECM assembly in Tsp4b-deficient embryos. Thus Tsp4 functions as an ECM scaffold at MTJs, with potential therapeutic uses in tendon strengthening and repair.
Animal experimentation: This study was performed in accordance with rules and protocols approved by University of California, Irvine- Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (UCI-IACUC)(Protocol # 2000-2149-4). Juveniles and adult fish were euthanized with Ethyl 3-aminobenzoate methanesulfonate (Tricaine). Embryos were anesthetized with Tricaine before stimulation assays.
- Tanya T Whitfield, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom
© 2014, Subramanian & Schilling
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The GNOM (GN) Guanine nucleotide Exchange Factor for ARF small GTPases (ARF-GEF) is among the best studied trafficking regulators in plants, playing crucial and unique developmental roles in patterning and polarity. The current models place GN at the Golgi apparatus (GA), where it mediates secretion/recycling, and at the plasma membrane (PM) presumably contributing to clathrin-mediated endocytosis (CME). The mechanistic basis of the developmental function of GN, distinct from the other ARF-GEFs including its closest homologue GNOM-LIKE1 (GNL1), remains elusive. Insights from this study largely extend the current notions of GN function. We show that GN, but not GNL1, localizes to the cell periphery at long-lived structures distinct from clathrin-coated pits, while CME and secretion proceed normally in gn knockouts. The functional GN mutant variant GNfewerroots, absent from the GA, suggests that the cell periphery is the major site of GN action responsible for its developmental function. Following inhibition by Brefeldin A, GN, but not GNL1, relocates to the PM likely on exocytic vesicles, suggesting selective molecular associations en route to the cell periphery. A study of GN-GNL1 chimeric ARF-GEFs indicates that all GN domains contribute to the specific GN function in a partially redundant manner. Together, this study offers significant steps toward the elucidation of the mechanism underlying unique cellular and development functions of GNOM.
Glucocorticoid-induced osteonecrosis of the femoral head (GONFH) is a common refractory joint disease characterized by bone damage and the collapse of femoral head structure. However, the exact pathological mechanisms of GONFH remain unknown. Here, we observed abnormal osteogenesis and adipogenesis associated with decreased β-catenin in the necrotic femoral head of GONFH patients. In vivo and in vitro studies further revealed that glucocorticoid exposure disrupted osteogenic/adipogenic differentiation of bone marrow mesenchymal cells (BMSCs) by inhibiting β-catenin signaling in glucocorticoid-induced GONFH rats. Col2+ lineage largely contributes to BMSCs and was found an osteogenic commitment in the femoral head through 9 mo of lineage trace. Specific deletion of β-catenin gene (Ctnnb1) in Col2+ cells shifted their commitment from osteoblasts to adipocytes, leading to a full spectrum of disease phenotype of GONFH in adult mice. Overall, we uncover that β-catenin inhibition disrupting the homeostasis of osteogenic/adipogenic differentiation contributes to the development of GONFH and identify an ideal genetic-modified mouse model of GONFH.