Maurizio Pacifici

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Filadelfia, Pennsylvania, United States

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Publications (171)770.57 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: To determine whether and how transcription factor Erg participates in the genesis, establishment and maintenance of articular cartilage. Floxed Erg mice were mated with Gdf5-Cre mice to create conditional mutants lacking Erg in their joints. Mutant and control joints were subjected to morphological and molecular characterization and also experimental osteoarthritis (OA) surgery. Gene expression, promoter reporter assays and gain- and loss-of-function in vitro tests were used to characterize molecular mechanisms of Erg action. Conditional Erg ablation did not elicit obvious changes in limb joint development and overall phenotype in juvenile mice. Over aging, however, mutant joints became spontaneously deranged and exhibited clear OA-like phenotypic defects. Mutant joints in juvenile mice were more sensitive to surgically induced OA and became defective sooner than operated control joints. Global gene expression data and other studies identified PTHrP and lubricin as possible downstream effectors and mediators of Erg action in articular chondrocytes. Reporter assays using control and mutated promoter/enhancer constructs did indicate that Erg acted on ets DNA binding sites to stimulate PTHrP expression. ERG was up-regulated in severely affected areas in human OA articular cartilage, but remained barely appreciable in less affected cartilage areas. The study shows for the first time that Erg is a critical molecular regulator of articular cartilage's endurance over postnatal life and ability to mitigate spontaneous and experimental OA. Erg appears to do so through its regulation of PTHrP and lubricin expression, factors known for their protective roles in joints. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. © 2015, American College of Rheumatology.
    06/2015; DOI:10.1002/art.39243
  • Paul C Billings, Maurizio Pacifici
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    ABSTRACT: Heparan sulfate (HS) is a component of cell surface and matrix-associated proteoglycans (HSPGs) that collectively, play crucial roles in many physiologic processes including cell differentiation, organ morphogenesis and cancer. A key function of HS is to bind and interact with signaling proteins, growth factors, plasma proteins, immune-modulators and other factors. In so doing, the HS chains and HSPGs are able to regulate protein distribution, bio-availability and action on target cells and can also serve as cell surface co-receptors, facilitating ligand-receptor interactions. These proteins contain an HS/heparin-binding domain (HBD) that mediates their association and contacts with HS. HBDs are highly diverse in sequence and predicted structure, contain clusters of basic amino acids (Lys, Arg) and possess an overall net positive charge, most often within a consensus Cardin-Weintraub (CW) motif. Interestingly, other domains and residues are now known to influence protein-HS interactions, as well as interactions with other glycosaminoglycans, such as chondroitin sulfate. In this review we provide a description and analysis of HBDs in proteins including amphiregulin, fibroblast growth factor family members, heparanase, sclerostin and hedgehog protein family members. We discuss HBD structural and functional features and important roles carried out by other protein domains, and also provide novel conformational insights into the diversity of CW motifs present in Sonic, Indian and Desert hedgehogs. Finally, we review progress in understanding the pathogenesis of a rare pediatric skeletal disorder, Hereditary Multiple Exostoses (HME), characterized by HS deficiency and cartilage tumor formation. Advances in understanding protein-HS interactions will have broad implications for basic biology and translational medicine as well as for the development of HS-based therapeutics.
    Connective tissue research 06/2015; 56(4):1-30. DOI:10.3109/03008207.2015.1045066 · 1.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Members of the ETS family of transcription factors are involved in several developmental processes including endothelial cell specification and blood vessel formation, but their exact roles remain unclear. The family member Erg is highly expressed in endothelial cells as compared to other developing cell types including chondrocytes, hematopoietic cells and mesodermal cells. To study the specific roles ERG plays in endothelial cell specification and function during early embryogenesis, we conditionally ablated it by mating Erg(loxP/loxP) and Tie2-Cre mice. We found that mutant embryos died by mid-gestation and that angiogenesis and vascular integrity were highly compromised. Our study reveals that ERG has essential and cell autonomous roles in endothelial cell development and blood vessel maintenance.
    Organogenesis 06/2015; DOI:10.1080/15476278.2015.1031435 · 2.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hereditary multiple exostoses is a pediatric skeletal disorder characterized by benign cartilaginous tumors called exostoses that form next to growing skeletal elements. Hereditary multiple exostoses patients carry heterozygous mutations in the heparan sulfate (HS)-synthesizing enzymes EXT1 or EXT2, but studies suggest that EXT haploinsufficiency and ensuing partial HS deficiency are insufficient for exostosis formation. Searching for additional players, we analyzed presence and distribution of heparanase in human exostoses. Heparanase was readily detectable in most chondrocytes, particularly in cell clusters. In control growth plates from unaffected persons, however, heparanase was detectable only in hypertrophic zone. Treatment of mouse embryo limb mesenchymal micromass cultures with exogenous heparanase greatly stimulated chondrogenesis and bone morphogenetic protein signaling as revealed by Smad1/5/8 phosphorylation. It also stimulated cell migration and proliferation. Interfering with HS function both with the chemical antagonist Surfen or treatment with bacterial heparitinase up-regulated endogenous heparanase gene expression, suggesting a counterintuitive feedback mechanism that would result in further HS reduction and increased signaling. Thus, we tested a potent heparanase inhibitor (SST0001), which strongly inhibited chondrogenesis. Our data clearly indicate that heparanase is able to stimulate chondrogenesis, bone morphogenetic protein signaling, cell migration, and cell proliferation in chondrogenic cells. These properties may allow heparanase to play a role in exostosis genesis and pathogenesis, thus making it a conceivable therapeutic target in hereditary multiple exostoses. Copyright © 2015 American Society for Investigative Pathology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    American Journal Of Pathology 04/2015; 185(6). DOI:10.1016/j.ajpath.2015.02.014 · 4.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hereditary Multiple Exostoses (HME) is an autosomal-dominant disorder characterized by benign cartilage tumors (exostoses) forming near the growth plates, leading to severe health problems. EXT1 and EXT2 are the two genes known to harbor heterozygous loss-of-function mutations that account for the vast majority of the primary genetic component of HME. However, patients present with wide clinical heterogeneity, suggesting that modifier genes play a role in determining severity. Our previous work has pointed to an imbalance of β-catenin signaling being involved in the pathogenesis of osteochondroma formation. TCF7L2 is one of the key 'gate-keeper' TCF family members for Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway, and TCF7L2 and EXT2 are among the earliest associated loci reported in genome wide appraisals of type 2 diabetes (T2D). Thus we investigated if the key T allele of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs7903146 within the TCF7L2 locus, which is strongly over-represented among T2D cases, was also associated with HME. We leveraged genotype data available from ongoing GWAS efforts from genomics and orthopedic centers in the US, Canada and Italy. Collectively 213 cases and 1890 controls were analyzed and, surprisingly, the T allele was in fact significantly under-represented in the HME patient group [P=0.009; odds ratio=0.737 (95% C.I. 0.587-0.926)]; in addition, the direction of effect was consistent within each individual cohort. Immunohistochemical analyses revealed that TCF7L2 is differentially expressed and distributed in normal human growth plate zones, and exhibits substantial variability in human exostoses in terms of staining intensity and distribution. In summary, the data indicate that there is a putative genetic connection between TCF7L2 and EXT in the context of HME. Given this observation, we suggest that these loci could possibly modulate shared pathways, in particular with respect to β-catenin, and their respective variants interplay to influence HME pathogenesis as well as T2D. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Bone 12/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.bone.2014.11.024 · 4.46 Impact Factor
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    Maurizio Pacifici
    Matrix Biology 10/2014; 39. DOI:10.1016/j.matbio.2014.08.004 · 3.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Limb development requires the coordinated growth of several tissues and structures including long bones, joints and tendons, but the underlying mechanisms are not wholly clear. Recently, we identified a small drug-like molecule -we named Kartogenin (KGN)- that greatly stimulates chondrogenesis in marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and enhances cartilage repair in mouse osteoarthritis (OA) models. To determine whether limb developmental processes are regulated by KGN, we tested its activity on committed preskeletal mesenchymal cells from mouse embryo limb buds and whole limb explants. KGN did stimulate cartilage nodule formation and more strikingly, boosted digit cartilaginous anlaga elongation, synovial joint formation and interzone compaction, tendon maturation as monitored by ScxGFP, and interdigit invagination. To identify mechanisms, we carried out gene expression analyses and found that several genes, including those encoding key signaling proteins, were up-regulated by KGN. Amongst highly up-regulated genes were those encoding hedgehog and TGFβ superfamily members, particularly TFGβ1. The former response was verified by increases in Gli1-LacZ activity and Gli1 mRNA expression. Exogenous TGFβ1 stimulated cartilage nodule formation to levels similar to KGN, and KGN and TGFβ1 both greatly enhanced expression of lubricin/Prg4 in articular superficial zone cells. KGN also strongly increased the cellular levels of phospho-Smads that mediate canonical TGFβ and BMP signaling. Thus, limb development is potently and harmoniously stimulated by KGN. The growth effects of KGN appear to result from its ability to boost several key signaling pathways and in particular TGFβ signaling, working in addition to and/or in concert with the filamin A/CBFβ/RUNX1 pathway we identified previously to orchestrate overall limb development. KGN may thus represent a very powerful tool not only for OA therapy, but also limb regeneration and tissue repair strategies.
    Developmental Biology 09/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.ydbio.2014.09.011 · 3.64 Impact Factor
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    Rebekah S Decker, Eiki Koyama, Maurizio Pacifici
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    ABSTRACT: Limb synovial joints are intricate structures composed of articular cartilage, synovial membranes, ligaments and capsule. Each joint has a unique shape, organization and biomechanical function, and articular cartilage itself is rather complex and organized in distinct zones, including the superficial zone that produces lubricans and contains stem/progenitor cells. There has been a great of interest for many years to decipher the mechanisms by which the joints form and come to acquire such unique structural features and diversity. Decades ago, classic embryologists discovered that the first overt sign of joint formation at each prescribed limb site is the appearance of a dense and compact population of mesenchymal cells collectively called the interzone. Work carried out since by several groups has provided evidence that the interzone cells do actively participate in joint tissue formation over developmental time. This minireview provides a succinct but comprehensive description of the many and important recent advances in this field of research. These includes: studies using various conditional reporter mice to genetically trace and track the origin, fate and possible function of joint progenitor cells; studies on the involvement and roles in signaling pathways and transcription factors in joint cell determination and functioning; and studies using advanced methods of gene expression analyses to uncover novel genetic determinants of joint formation and diversity. The overall advances are impressive, and the findings are not only of obvious interest and importance, but have major implications to conceive future translational medicine tools to repair and regenerate defective, overused or aging joints.
    Matrix biology: journal of the International Society for Matrix Biology 08/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.matbio.2014.08.006 · 3.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Proteoglycan 4 (Prg4) product lubricin plays essential roles in boundary lubrication and movement in limb synovial joints, but its roles in temporomandibular joint (TMJ) are unclear. Thus, we characterized the TMJ phenotype in wild-type and Prg4(-/-) mouse littermates over age. As early as 2 weeks of age, mutant mice exhibited hyperplasia in the glenoid fossa articular cartilage, articular disc, and synovial membrane. By 1 month of age, there were fewer condylar superficial tenascin-C/Col1-positive cells and more numerous apoptotic condylar apical cells, while chondroprogenitors displayed higher mitotic activity, and Sox9-, Col2-, and ColX-expressing chondrocyte zones were significantly expanded. Mutant subchondral bone contained numerous Catepsin K- expressing osteoclasts at the chondro-osseous junction, increased invasive marrow cavities, and suboptimal subchondral bone. Mutant glenoid fossa, disc, synovial cells, and condyles displayed higher Hyaluronan synthase 2 expression. Mutant discs also lost their characteristic concave shape, exhibited ectopic chondrocyte differentiation, and occasionally adhered to condylar surfaces. A fibrinoid substance of unclear origin often covered the condylar surface. By 6 months of age, mutant condyles displayed osteoarthritic degradation with apical/mid-zone separation. In sum, lubricin exerts multiple essential direct and indirect roles to preserve TMJ structural and cellular integrity over post-natal life.
    Journal of Dental Research 05/2014; 93(7):663. DOI:10.1177/0022034514535807 · 4.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Slow proliferation is one of the characteristics of stem cells. We examined the presence, distribution, and regulation of slow-cycling cells in the developing and growing skeleton using a pulse-chase method with a new nucleoside derivative, 5-ethynyl-2'-deoxyuridine (EdU). C57BL/6 mice received daily intraperitoneal injections of EdU from postnatal day 4 to day 7. One day after the last EdU injection, a large population of cells in articular cartilage and growth plate was labeled. Six weeks after the last injection, the number of EdU-labeled cells dramatically decreased, but a small number of them were dominantly present in the articular surface, and the labeling index was significantly higher in the surface than that in the rest of articular cartilage. In the growth plate, most EdU-positive cells were found in the top layer that lies immediately below the secondary ossification center. Interestingly, postnatal conditional ablation of β-catenin in cartilage caused a complete loss of the EdU-labeled cells in growth plate that displayed disorganization and dysfunction. Together, our data demonstrate that slow-cycling cells do reside in specific locations and numbers in both articular cartilage and growth plate. The β-catenin signaling pathway appears to play a previously unsuspected role in maintenance of the slow-cycling cells. © 2014 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res.
    Journal of Orthopaedic Research 05/2014; 32(5). DOI:10.1002/jor.22583 · 2.97 Impact Factor
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    Osteoarthritis and Cartilage 04/2014; 22:S10. DOI:10.1016/j.joca.2014.02.040 · 4.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) functions as a load-bearing diarthrodial joint during mastication, and its continuous use and stress can lead to degeneration over age. Using senescence-accelerated (SAMP8) mice that develop early osteoarthritis-like changes in synovial joints at high frequency, we analyzed possible molecular mechanisms of TMJ degeneration and tested whether and how malocclusion may accelerate it. Condylar articular cartilage in young SAMP8 mice displayed early-onset osteoarthritic changes that included reductions in superficial/chondroprogenitor cell number, proteoglycan/collagen content, and Indian hedgehog (Ihh)-expressing chondrocytes. Following malocclusion induced by tooth milling, the SAMP8 condyles became morphologically defective, displayed even lower proteoglycan levels, and underwent abnormal chondrocyte maturation compared with malocclusion-treated condyles in wild-type mice. Malocclusion also induced faster progression of pathologic changes with increasing age in SAMP8 condyles as indicated by decreased PCNA-positive proliferating chondroprogenitors and increased TUNEL-positive apoptotic cells. These changes were accompanied by steeper reductions in Ihh signaling and by expression of matrix metalloproteinase 13 at the chondro-osseous junction in SAMP8 articular cartilage. In sum, we show for the first time that precocious TMJ degeneration in SAMP8 mice is accompanied by-and possibly attributable to-altered Ihh signaling and that occlusal dysfunction accelerates progression toward degenerative TMJ disease in this model.
    Journal of dental research 01/2014; 93(3). DOI:10.1177/0022034513519649 · 4.14 Impact Factor
  • Kevin B Jones, Maurizio Pacifici, Matthew J Hilton
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract An interdisciplinary and international group of clinicians and scientists gathered in Philadelphia, PA to attend the 4(th) International Research Conference on Multiple Hereditary Exostoses (MHE), a rare and severe skeletal disorder. MHE is largely caused by autosomal dominant mutations in EXT1 or EXT2, genes encoding Golgi-associated glycosyltransferases responsible for heparan sulfate (HS) synthesis. HS chains are key constituents of cell surface- and extracellular matrix-associated proteoglycans, which are known regulators of skeletal development. MHE affected individuals are HS-deficient, can display skeletal growth retardation and deformities, and consistently develop benign, cartilage-capped bony outgrowths (termed exostoses or osteochondromas) near the growth plates of many skeletal elements. Nearly 2% of patients will have their exostoses progress to malignancy, becoming peripheral chondrosarcomas. Current treatments are limited to surgical removal of symptomatic exostoses. No definitive treatments have been established to inhibit further formation and growth of exostoses, prevent transition to malignancy, or address other medical problems experienced by MHE patients, including chronic pain. Thus, the goals of the Conference were to assess our current understanding of MHE pathogenesis, identify key gaps in information, envision future therapeutic strategies and discuss ways to test and implement them. This report provides an assessment of the exciting and promising findings in MHE and related fields presented at the Conference and a discussion of the future MHE research directions. The Conference underlined the critical usefulness of gathering experts in several research fields to forge new alliances and identify cross-fertilization areas to benefit both basic and translational biomedical research on the skeleton.
    Connective tissue research 01/2014; DOI:10.3109/03008207.2013.867957 · 1.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: CCN proteins are extracellular and cell-associated molecules involved in several developmental processes, but their expression patterns and regulation in tooth development remain unclear. Here we first determined the expression patterns of CCN genes in mouse tooth germs. We found that at early stages CCN2 was detected in dental lamina, dental mesenchyme, and primary enamel knot, while other CCN family members were expressed broadly. By the bell stage, all members were expressed in differentiating odontoblasts and ameloblasts, but CCN1 and CCN2 transcripts were conspicuous in differentiating osteoblasts in dental follicle. Next, we asked what signalling molecules regulate CCN2 expression and what roles CCN2 may have. We found that upon surgical removal of dental epithelium CCN2 was not longer expressed in dental mesenchyme in cultured bud stage germs. Implantation of beads pre-coated with BMPs and FGFs onto E12-13 mandibular explants induced CCN2 expression in dental mesenchyme. There was a dose-dependent effect of BMP-4 on CCN2 induction; a concentration of 100ng/μl was able to induce strong CCN2 expression while a minimum concentration of 25ng/μl was needed to elicit appreciable expression. Importantly, Noggin treatment inhibited endogenous and BMP-induced CCN2 expression, verifying that CCN2 expression in developing tooth germs requires BMP signalling. Lastly, we found that rCCN2 stimulated proliferation in dental mesenchyme in a dose-dependent manner. Together, the data indicate that expression of CCN genes is spatio-temporally regulated in developing tooth germs. CCN2 expression appears to depend on epithelial and mesenchymal-derived signalling factors, and CCN2 can elicit strong proliferation in dental mesenchyme.
    Archives of oral biology 11/2013; 58(11):1659-1666. DOI:10.1016/j.archoralbio.2013.08.010 · 1.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Heparan sulfate (HS) is an essential component of cell surface and matrix-associated proteoglycans (HSPGs). Due to their sulfation patterns, the HS chains interact with numerous signaling proteins and regulate their distribution and activity on target cells. Many of these proteins, including bone morphogenetic protein family members, are expressed in the growth plate of developing skeletal elements, and several skeletal phenotypes are caused by mutations in HS-synthesizing and modifying enzymes. The disease we discuss here is Hereditary Multiple Exostoses (HME), a disorder caused by mutations in HS synthesizing enzymes EXT1 and EXT2, leading to HS deficiency. The exostoses are benign cartilaginous-bony outgrowths, form next to growth plates, can cause growth retardation and deformities, chronic pain and impaired motion, and progress to malignancy in 2-5% of patients. We describe recent advancements on HME pathogenesis and exostosis formation deriving from studies that have determined distribution, activities and roles of signaling proteins in wild type and HS-deficient cells and tissues. Aberrant distribution of signaling factors combined with aberrant responsiveness of target cells to those same factors appear to be a major culprit in exostosis formation. Insights from these studies suggest plausible and cogent ideas about how HME could be treated in the future. Developmental Dynamics, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Developmental Dynamics 09/2013; 242(9). DOI:10.1002/dvdy.24010 · 2.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Long bones are integral components of the limb skeleton. Recent studies have indicated that embryonic long bone development is altered by mutations in Ext genes and consequent heparan sulfate (HS) deficiency, possibly due to changes in activity and distribution of HS-binding/growth plate-associated signaling proteins. Here we asked whether Ext function is continuously required after birth to sustain growth plate function and long bone growth and organization. Compound transgenic Ext1(f/f);Col2CreERT mice were injected with tamoxifen at postnatal day 5 (P5) to ablate Ext1 in cartilage and monitored over time. The Ext1-deficient mice exhibited growth retardation already by 2weeks post-injection, as did their long bones. Mutant growth plates displayed a severe disorganization of chondrocyte columnar organization, a shortened hypertrophic zone with low expression of collagen X and MMP-13, and reduced primary spongiosa accompanied, however, by increased numbers of TRAP-positive osteoclasts at the chondro-osseous border. The mutant epiphyses were abnormal as well. Formation of a secondary ossification center was significantly delayed but interestingly, hypertrophic-like chondrocytes emerged within articular cartilage, similar to those often seen in osteoarthritic joints. Indeed, the cells displayed a large size and round shape, expressed collagen X and MMP-13 and were surrounded by an abundant Perlecan-rich pericellular matrix not seen in control articular chondrocytes. In addition, ectopic cartilaginous outgrowths developed on the lateral side of mutant growth plates over time that resembled exostoses characteristic of children with Hereditary Multiple Exostoses, a syndrome caused by EXT mutations and HS deficiency. In sum, the data do show that Ext1 is continuously required for postnatal growth and organization of long bones as well as their adjacent joints. Ext1 deficiency elicits defects that can occur in human skeletal conditions including trabecular bone loss, osteoarthritis and HME.
    Bone 08/2013; 57(1). DOI:10.1016/j.bone.2013.08.012 · 4.46 Impact Factor
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    Osteoarthritis and Cartilage 04/2013; 21:S20. DOI:10.1016/j.joca.2013.02.063 · 4.66 Impact Factor
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    Osteoarthritis and Cartilage 04/2013; 21:S14–S15. DOI:10.1016/j.joca.2013.02.052 · 4.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: During limb skeletogenesis the cartilaginous long bone anlagen and their growth plates become delimited by perichondrium with which they interact functionally. Yet, little is known about how, despite being so intimately associated with cartilage, perichondrium acquires and maintains its distinct phenotype and exerts its border function. Because perichondrium becomes deranged and interrupted by cartilaginous outgrowths in Hereditary Multiple Exostoses (HME), a pediatric disorder caused by EXT mutations and consequent heparan sulfate (HS) deficiency, we asked whether EXT genes and HS normally have roles in establishing its phenotype and function. Indeed, conditional Ext1 ablation in perichondrium and lateral chondrocytes flanking the epiphyseal region of mouse embryo long bone anlagen -a region encompassing the groove of Ranvier- caused ectopic cartilage formation. A similar response was observed when HS function was disrupted in long bone anlagen explants by genetic, pharmacological or enzymatic means, a response preceded by ectopic BMP signaling within perichondrium. These treatments also triggered excess chondrogenesis and cartilage nodule formation and overexpression of chondrogenic and matrix genes in limb bud mesenchymal cells in micromass culture. Interestingly, the treatments disrupted the peripheral definition and border of the cartilage nodules in such a way that many nodules overgrew and fused with each other into large amorphous cartilaginous masses. Interference with HS function reduced the physical association and interactions of BMP2 with HS and increased the cell responsiveness to endogenous and exogenous BMP proteins. In sum, Ext genes and HS are needed to establish and maintain perichondrium's phenotype and border function, restrain pro-chondrogenic signaling proteins including BMPs, and restrict chondrogenesis. Alterations in these mechanisms may contribute to exostosis formation in HME, particularly at the expense of regions rich in progenitor cells including the groove of Ranvier.
    Developmental Biology 02/2013; 377(1). DOI:10.1016/j.ydbio.2013.02.008 · 3.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Osteochondromas and enchondromas are the most common tumors affecting the skeleton. Osteochondromas can occur as multiple lesions, such as those in patients with hereditary multiple exostoses. Unexpectedly, while studying the role of β-catenin in cartilage development, we found that its conditional deletion induces ectopic chondroma-like cartilage formation in mice. Postnatal ablation of β-catenin in cartilage induced lateral outgrowth of the growth plate within 2 weeks after ablation. The chondroma-like masses were present in the flanking periosteum by 5 weeks and persisted for more than 6 months after β-catenin ablation. These long-lasting ectopic masses rarely contained apoptotic cells. In good correlation, transplants of β-catenin-deficient chondrocytes into athymic mice persisted for a longer period of time and resisted replacement by bone compared to control wild-type chondrocytes. In contrast, a β-catenin signaling stimulator increased cell death in control chondrocytes. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that the amount of detectable β-catenin in cartilage cells of osteochondromas obtained from hereditary multiple exostoses patients was much lower than that in hypertrophic chondrocytes in normal human growth plates. The findings in our study indicate that loss of β-catenin expression in chondrocytes induces periosteal chondroma-like masses and may be linked to, and cause, the persistence of cartilage caps in osteochondromas.
    American Journal Of Pathology 12/2012; 182(3). DOI:10.1016/j.ajpath.2012.11.012 · 4.60 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

5k Citations
770.57 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2011–2014
    • The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
      • Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
      Filadelfia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • 2005–2011
    • Thomas Jefferson University
      • Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
    • Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals
      • Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Biology
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • 1976–2009
    • University of Pennsylvania
      • • School of Dental Medicine
      • • Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology
      • • Department of Biochemistry
      • • Department of Medicine
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • 2001
    • Osaka University
      • Department of Oral Anatomy and Developmental Biology
      Ibaraki, Osaka-fu, Japan
  • 1998
    • William Penn University
      Filadelfia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • 1993
    • The University of Tokushima
      • Department of Biological Science and Technology
      Tokusima, Tokushima, Japan
    • Harvard Medical School
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 1982
    • Wistar Institute
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • 1981–1982
    • University of Rome Tor Vergata
      Roma, Latium, Italy
  • 1980
    • Università Degli Studi Roma Tre
      Roma, Latium, Italy