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Papers of the Week

Papers: 25 May 2024 - 31 May 2024

2024 May 28




Cbfβ regulates Wnt/β-catenin, Hippo/Yap, and Tgfβ signaling pathways in articular cartilage homeostasis and protects from ACLT surgery-induced osteoarthritis.


Chen W, Lu Y, Zhang Y, Wu J, McVicar A, Chen Y, Zhu S, Zhu G, Lu Y, Zhang J, McConnell M, Li YP


As the most common degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis (OA) contributes significantly to pain and disability during aging. Several genes of interest involved in articular cartilage damage in OA have been identified. However, the direct causes of OA are poorly understood. Evaluating the public human RNA-seq dataset showed that (subunit of a heterodimeric Cbfβ/Runx1, Runx2, or Runx3 complex) expression is decreased in the cartilage of patients with OA. Here, we found that the chondrocyte-specific deletion of in tamoxifen-induced mice caused a spontaneous OA phenotype, worn articular cartilage, increased inflammation, and osteophytes. RNA-sequencing analysis showed that Cbfβ deficiency in articular cartilage resulted in reduced cartilage regeneration, increased canonical Wnt signaling and inflammatory response, and decreased Hippo/Yap signaling and Tgfβ signaling. Immunostaining and western blot validated these RNA-seq analysis results. ACLT surgery-induced OA decreased Cbfβ and Yap expression and increased active β-catenin expression in articular cartilage, while local AAV-mediated overexpression promoted Yap expression and diminished active β-catenin expression in OA lesions. Remarkably, AAV-mediated overexpression in knee joints of mice with OA showed the significant protective effect of Cbfβ on articular cartilage in the ACLT OA mouse model. Overall, this study, using loss-of-function and gain-of-function approaches, uncovered that low expression of Cbfβ may be the cause of OA. Moreover, Local admission of may rescue and protect OA through decreasing Wnt/β-catenin signaling, and increasing Hippo/Yap signaling and Tgfβ/Smad2/3 signaling in OA articular cartilage, indicating that local overexpression could be an effective strategy for treatment of OA.