Friday, October 9, 2009


HTRA1 is upregulated by LSJL.

HtrA1 inhibits mineral deposition by osteoblasts: requirement for the protease and PDZ domains.

"We demonstrate increased HtrA1 expression in differentiating 2T3 osteoblasts prior to the appearance of mineralization. HtrA1 is subsequently down-regulated in fully mineralized cultures. The functional role of HtrA1 in matrix calcification was investigated using three complementary approaches. First, we transfected a full-length HtrA1 expression plasmid into 2T3 cells and showed that overexpression of HtrA1 delayed mineralization, reduced expression of Cbfa1 and collagen type I mRNA, and prevented BMP-2-induced mineralization. Second, knocking down HtrA1 expression using short interfering RNA induced mineral deposition by 2T3 cells. Third, by expressing a series of recombinant HtrA1 proteins, we demonstrated that the protease domain and the PDZ domain are essential for the inhibitory effect of HtrA1 on osteoblast mineralization. Finally, we tested whether HtrA1 cleaves specific matrix proteins that are known to regulate osteoblast differentiation, mineralization, and/or BMP-2 activity. Full-length recombinant HtrA1 cleaved[killed] recombinant decorin, fibronectin, and matrix Gla{down in LSJL} protein. Both the protease domain and the PDZ domain were necessary for the cleavage of matrix Gla protein, whereas the PDZ domain was not required for the cleavage of decorin or fibronectin. Type I collagen was not cleaved by recombinant HtrA1. These results suggest that HtrA1 may regulate matrix calcification via the inhibition of BMP-2 signaling, modulating osteoblast gene expression, and/or via the degradation of specific matrix proteins."

"neither TGF-β, BMP-2, nor BMP-4 can be degraded by HtrA1 and that signals from the constitutively active BMP-4 receptor, caBMPR-1B, are not inhibited by this protease"

Expression of mouse HtrA1 serine protease in normal bone and cartilage and its upregulation in joint cartilage damaged by experimental arthritis.

"HtrA1 is not expressed in mesenchymal or cartilage condensations before initiation of ossification. When ossification begins in the condensations, the expression of HtrA1 starts in chondrocytes undergoing hypertrophic differentiation near the ossification center. Hypertrophic chondrocytes found in adult articular cartilage and epiphyseal growth plates also express HtrA1. When arthritis is induced by injection of anti-collagen antibodies and lipopolysaccharide, resting chondrocytes proceed to terminal hypertrophic differentiation and start expressing HtrA1. These data suggest that hypertrophic change induces HtrA1 expression in chondrocytes both in normal and pathological conditions. HtrA1 has been reported to inhibit TGF-beta signaling. We show that HtrA1 digests major components of cartilage, such as aggrecan, decorin, fibromodulin, and soluble type II collagen. HtrA1 may, therefore, promote degeneration of cartilage by inducing terminal hypertrophic chondrocyte differentiation and by digesting cartilage matrix though its TGF-beta inhibitory activity and protease activity, respectively. In bone, active cuboidal osteoblasts barely express HtrA1, but osteoblasts which flatten and adhere to the bone matrix and osteocytes embedded in bone are strongly positive for HtrA1 production. The bone matrix shows a high level of HtrA1 protein deposition akin to that of TGF-beta, suggesting a close functional interaction between TGF-beta and HtrA1."

"HtrA1 suppresses differentiation of immature mesenchymal cells to chondrocytes but supports specification of the same mesenchymal cells to other cell fates, such as tendon and ligament"

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