Yongjie Lai

State University of New York Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY, United States

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Publications (4)52.4 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: To examine the expression of ADAMTS-7 during the progression of osteoarthritis (OA), defining its role in the pathogenesis of OA, and elucidating the molecular events involved. ADAMTS-7 expression in cartilage of a rat OA model was assayed using immunohistochemistry. Cartilage-specific ADAMTS-7 transgenic mice and ADAMTS-7 small interfering (si)RNA knockdown mice were generated and used to analyse OA progression in both spontaneous and surgically induced OA models. Cartilage degradation and OA was evaluated using Safranin-O staining, immunohistochemistry, ELISA and western blotting. In addition, mRNA expression of tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α and metalloproteinases known to be involved in cartilage degeneration in OA was analysed. Furthermore, the transactivation of ADAMTS-7 by TNF-α and its downstream NF-κB signalling was measured using reporter gene assay. ADAMTS-7 expression was elevated during disease progression in the surgically induced rat OA model. Targeted overexpression of ADAMTS-7 in chondrocytes led to chondrodysplasia characterised by short-limbed dwarfism and a delay in endochondral ossification in 'young mice' and a spontaneous OA-like phenotype in 'aged' mice. In addition, overexpression of ADAMTS-7 led to exaggerated breakdown of cartilage and accelerated OA progression, while knockdown of ADAMTS-7 attenuated degradation of cartilage matrix and protected against OA development, in surgically induced OA models. ADAMTS-7 upregulated TNF-α and metalloproteinases associated with OA; in addition, TNF-α induced ADAMTS-7 through NF-κB signalling. ADAMTS-7 and TNF-α form a positive feedback loop in the regulation of cartilage degradation and OA progression, making them potential molecular targets for prevention and treatment of joint degenerative diseases, including OA.
    Annals of the rheumatic diseases 08/2013; · 8.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Granulin-epithelin precursor (GEP) is an autocrine growth factor that has been implicated in embryonic development, tissue repair, tumorigenesis, and inflammation. Here we report that GEP was expressed in skeletal muscle tissue and its level was differentially altered in the course of C2C12 myoblast fusion. The GEP expression during myoblast fusion was a consequence of MyoD transcription factor binding to several E-box (CANNTG) sequences in the 5'-flanking regulatory region of GEP gene, followed by transcription. Recombinant GEP potently inhibited myotube formation from C2C12 myoblasts whereas the knockdown of endogenous of GEP via a siRNA approach accelerated the fusion of myoblasts to myotubes. Interestingly, the muscle fibers of GEP knockdown mice were larger in number but noticeably smaller in size when compared to the wild-type. Mechanistic studies revealed that during myoblast fusion, the addition of GEP led to remarkable reductions in the expressions of muscle-specific transcription factors, including MyoD. In addition, the regulation of myotube formation by GEP is mediated by the anti-myogenic factor JunB, which is upregulated following GEP stimulation. Thus, GEP growth factor, JunB, and MyoD transcription factor form a regulatory loop and act in concert in the course of myogenesis.
    Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences CMLS 12/2011; 69(11):1855-73. · 5.62 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The growth factor progranulin (PGRN) has been implicated in embryonic development, tissue repair, tumorigenesis, and inflammation, but its receptors remain unidentified. We report that PGRN bound directly to tumor necrosis factor receptors (TNFRs) and disturbed the TNFα-TNFR interaction. PGRN-deficient mice were susceptible to collagen-induced arthritis, and administration of PGRN reversed inflammatory arthritis. Atsttrin, an engineered protein composed of three PGRN fragments, exhibited selective TNFR binding. PGRN and Atsttrin prevented inflammation in multiple arthritis mouse models and inhibited TNFα-activated intracellular signaling. Collectively, these findings demonstrate that PGRN is a ligand of TNFR, an antagonist of TNFα signaling, and plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of inflammatory arthritis in mice. They also suggest new potential therapeutic interventions for various TNFα-mediated pathologies and conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis.
    Science 03/2011; 332(6028):478-84. · 31.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To determine 1) whether a protein interaction network exists between granulin-epithelin precursor (GEP), ADAMTS-7/ADAMTS-12, and cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP); 2) whether GEP interferes with the interactions between ADAMTS-7/ADAMTS-12 metalloproteinases and COMP substrate, including the cleavage of COMP; 3) whether GEP affects tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha)-mediated induction of ADAMTS-7/ADAMTS-12 expression and COMP degradation; and 4) whether GEP levels are altered during the progression of arthritis. Yeast two-hybrid, in vitro glutathione S-transferase pull-down, and coimmunoprecipitation assays were used to 1) examine the interactions between GEP, ADAMTS-7/ADAMTS-12, and COMP, and 2) map the binding sites required for the interactions between GEP and ADAMTS-7/ADAMTS-12. Immunofluorescence cell staining was performed to visualize the subcellular localization of GEP and ADAMTS-7/ADAMTS-12. An in vitro digestion assay was employed to determine whether GEP inhibits ADAMTS-7/ADAMTS-12-mediated digestion of COMP. The role of GEP in inhibiting TNFalpha-induced ADAMTS-7/ADAMTS-12 expression and COMP degradation in cartilage explants was also analyzed. GEP bound directly to ADAMTS-7 and ADAMTS-12 in vitro and in chondrocytes, and the 4 C-terminal thrombospondin motifs of ADAMTS-7/ADAMTS-12 and each granulin unit of GEP mediated their interactions. Additionally, GEP colocalized with ADAMTS-7 and ADAMTS-12 on the cell surface of chondrocytes. More importantly, GEP inhibited COMP degradation by ADAMTS-7/ADAMTS-12 in a dose-dependent manner through 1) competitive inhibition through direct protein-protein interactions with ADAMTS-7/ADAMTS-12 and COMP, and 2) inhibition of TNFalpha-induced ADAMTS-7/ADAMTS-12 expression. Furthermore, GEP levels were significantly elevated in patients with either osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Our observations demonstrate a novel protein-protein interaction network between GEP, ADAMTS-7/ADAMTS-12, and COMP. Furthermore, GEP is a novel specific inhibitor of ADAMTS-7/ADAMTS-12-mediated COMP degradation and may play a significant role in preventing the destruction of joint cartilage in arthritis.
    Arthritis & Rheumatology 07/2010; 62(7):2023-36. · 7.48 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

127 Citations
52.40 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2011–2013
    • State University of New York Downstate Medical Center
      • Division of Orthopaedic Surgery
      Brooklyn, NY, United States
    • NYU Langone Medical Center
      • Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
      New York City, NY, United States