Differential Expression of Extracellular Matrix-Mediated Pathways in Single-Suture Craniosynostosis

Center for Tissue and Cell Sciences, Seattle Children's Research Institute, Seattle, Washington, United States of America.
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.23). 10/2011; 6(10):e26557. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0026557
Source: PubMed


Craniosynostosis is a disease defined by premature fusion of one or more cranial sutures. The mechanistic pathology of single-suture craniosynostosis is complex and while a number of genetic biomarkers and environmental predispositions have been identified, in many cases the causes remain controversial and inconclusive. In this study, gene expression data from 199 patients with isolated sagittal (n = 100), unilateral coronal (n = 50), and metopic (n = 49) synostosis are compared against both a control population (n = 50), as well as each other. After controlling for variables contributing to potential bias, FGF7, SFRP4, and VCAM1 emerged as genes associated with single-suture craniosynostosis due to their significantly large changes in gene expression compared to the control population. Pathway analysis implicated focal adhesion and extracellular matrix (ECM)-receptor interaction as differentially regulated gene networks when comparing all cases of single-suture synostosis and controls. Lastly, overall gene expression was found to be highly conserved between coronal and metopic cases, as evidenced by the fact that WNT2 and IGFBP2 were the only genes differentially regulated to a significantly large extent in a direct comparison. The identification of genes and gene networks associated with Fgf/Igf/Wnt signaling and ECM-mediated focal adhesion not only support the involvement of biomarkers previously reported to be related to craniosynostosis, but also introduce novel transcripts and pathways that may play critical roles in its pathogenesis.

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    • "Whole transcriptome microarray-based gene expression profiling has been used to query differences between normal controls, syndromic and non-syndromic cases, as reviewed by Bernardini et al. 12. Two studies have contrasted fibroblast cultures 13, 14, two have examined suture biopsies 15, 16, and two considered osteoblast cultures derived from suture sites 15, 17. Despite differences in experimental design and analysis, a common theme is that multiple pathways of gene activity differentiate craniosynostosis from normal tissues, typically implicating the extracellular matrix, fibroblast growth factor and Wnt signaling pathways, apoptosis, cell proliferation, or vascular function. "
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    ABSTRACT: Craniosynostosis, the premature fusion of one or more skull sutures, occurs in approximately 1 in 2500 infants, with the majority of cases non-syndromic and of unknown etiology. Two common reasons proposed for premature suture fusion are abnormal compression forces on the skull and rare genetic abnormalities. Our goal was to evaluate whether different sub-classes of disease can be identified based on total gene expression profiles. RNA-Seq data were obtained from 31 human osteoblast cultures derived from bone biopsy samples collected between 2009 and 2011, representing 23 craniosynostosis fusions and 8 normal cranial bones or long bones. No differentiation between regions of the skull was detected, but variance component analysis of gene expression patterns nevertheless supports transcriptome-based classification of craniosynostosis. Cluster analysis showed 4 distinct groups of samples; 1 predominantly normal and 3 craniosynostosis subtypes. Similar constellations of sub-types were also observed upon re-analysis of a similar dataset of 199 calvarial osteoblast cultures. Annotation of gene function of differentially expressed transcripts strongly implicates physiological differences with respect to cell cycle and cell death, stromal cell differentiation, extracellular matrix (ECM) components, and ribosomal activity. Based on these results, we propose non-syndromic craniosynostosis cases can be classified by differences in their gene expression patterns and that these may provide targets for future clinical intervention.
    06/2014; 2:121-130. DOI:10.7150/jgen.8833
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    • "In contrast, early onset hypothyroidism results in widely patent sutures and fontanels suggesting a role for the homeostasis of thyroid hormone in the maintenance of patent sutures [5]. However, the biochemical effects of thyroid hormone on premature cranial suture fusion have yet to be elucidated, with the exception of identification of Insulin Like Growth Factors (IGF) presence at the calvarial suture where thyroid hormone influences the expression positively [24], [25]. To begin to address this deficit in our understanding, we performed a series of experiments to determine the effects of exogenous thyroid hormone exposure on cells derived from murine calvaria. "
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    ABSTRACT: The incidence of craniosynostosis is one in every 1,800-2500 births. The gene-environment model proposes that if a genetic predisposition is coupled with environmental exposures, the effects can be multiplicative resulting in severely abnormal phenotypes. At present, very little is known about the role of gene-environment interactions in modulating craniosynostosis phenotypes, but prior evidence suggests a role for endocrine factors. Here we provide a report of the effects of thyroid hormone exposure on murine calvaria cells. Murine derived calvaria cells were exposed to critical doses of pharmaceutical thyroxine and analyzed after 3 and 7 days of treatment. Endpoint assays were designed to determine the effects of the hormone exposure on markers of osteogenesis and included, proliferation assay, quantitative ALP activity assay, targeted qPCR for mRNA expression of Runx2, Alp, Ocn, and Twist1, genechip array for 28,853 targets, and targeted osteogenic microarray with qPCR confirmations. Exposure to thyroxine stimulated the cells to express ALP in a dose dependent manner. There were no patterns of difference observed for proliferation. Targeted RNA expression data confirmed expression increases for Alp and Ocn at 7 days in culture. The genechip array suggests substantive expression differences for 46 gene targets and the targeted osteogenesis microarray indicated 23 targets with substantive differences. 11 gene targets were chosen for qPCR confirmation because of their known association with bone or craniosynostosis (Col2a1, Dmp1, Fgf1, 2, Igf1, Mmp9, Phex, Tnf, Htra1, Por, and Dcn). We confirmed substantive increases in mRNA for Phex, FGF1, 2, Tnf, Dmp1, Htra1, Por, Igf1 and Mmp9, and substantive decreases for Dcn. It appears thyroid hormone may exert its effects through increasing osteogenesis. Targets isolated suggest a possible interaction for those gene products associated with calvarial suture growth and homeostasis as well as craniosynostosis.
    PLoS ONE 07/2013; 8(7):e69067. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0069067 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The premature fusion of one cranial suture, also referred to as non-syndromic craniosynostosis, most commonly involves premature fusion of the sagittal, coronal, or metopic sutures, in that order. Population-based epidemiological studies have found that the birth prevalence of single-suture craniosynostosis is both suture- and sex-dependent. Transcriptomic data from 199 individuals with isolated sagittal (n = 100), unilateral coronal (n = 50), and metopic (n = 49) synostosis were compared against a control population (n = 50) to identify transcripts accounting for the different sex-based frequencies observed in this disease. Differential sex-based gene expression was classified as either gained (divergent) or lost (convergent) in affected individuals to identify transcripts related to disease predilection. Divergent expression was dependent on synostosis sub-type, and was extensive in metopic craniosynostosis specifically. Convergent microarray-based expression was independent of synostosis sub-type, with convergent expression of FBN2, IGF2BP3, PDE1C and TINAGL1 being the most robust across all synostosis sub-types. Analysis of sex-based gene expression followed by validation by qRT-PCR identified that concurrent upregulation of FBN2 and IGF2BP3, and downregulation of TINAGL1 in craniosynostosis cases were all associated with increased RUNX2 expression and may represent a transcriptomic signature that can be used to characterize a subset of single-suture craniosynostosis cases.
    Gene regulation and systems biology 05/2012; 6(6):81-92. DOI:10.4137/GRSB.S9693
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