Saturday, March 7, 2009


Mustn1 is expressed during chondrogenesis and is necessary for chondrocyte proliferation and differentiation in vitro.

"Mustn1 encodes a small nuclear protein expressed specifically in the musculoskeletal system that was originally identified as a strongly up-regulated gene during bone regeneration, especially in fracture callus proliferating chondrocytes. Further experiments were undertaken to investigate its expression and role during chondrogenesis. Initially, whole mount mouse in situ hybridization was carried out and revealed Mustn1 expression in areas of active chondrogenesis that included limb buds, branchial arches and tail bud. To elucidate its function, experiments were carried out to perturb Mustn1 by overexpression and silencing in the pre-chondrocytic RCJ3.1C5.18 (RCJ) cell line. In these cells, Mustn1 is normally differentially regulated, with a spike in expression 2 days after induction of differentiation. Further, Mustn1 was successfully overexpressed in multiple RCJ cell lines by approximately 2-6 fold, and reduced to approximately 32-52% in silenced cell lines as compared to parental Mustn1 levels. Overexpressing, silenced, control, and parental RCJ cell lines were assayed for proliferation and differentiation. No statistically significant changes were observed in either proliferation or proteoglycan production when Mustn1 overexpressing lines were compared to parental and control{so optimal Mustn1 is likely necessary for height growth but excess quantities won't result in extra height}. By contrast, both proliferation rate and differentiation were significantly reduced in Mustn1 silenced cell lines. Specifically, RNAi silenced cell lines showed reductions in populations of approximately 55-75%, and also approximately 34-40% less matrix (proteoglycan) production as compared to parental and random control lines. Further, this reduction in matrix production was accompanied by significant downregulation of chondrogenic marker genes, such as Sox9, Collagen type II (Col II), and Collagen type X (Col X). Lastly, reintroduction of Mustn1 into a silenced cell line rescued this phenotype, returning proliferation rate, matrix production, and chondrogenic marker gene expression back to parental levels."

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