[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Osteosarcoma (OS) is the most common primary malignancy of bone. Here, we investigated a possible role of defective osteoblast differentiation in OS tumorigenesis. We found that basal levels of the early osteogenic marker alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity were low in OS lines. Osteogenic regulators Runx2 and OSX, and the late marker osteopontin (OPN) expressed at low levels in most OS lines, indicating that most OS cells fail to undergo terminal differentiation. Furthermore, OS cells were refractory to osteogenic BMP-induced increases in ALP activity. Osteogenic BMPs were shown to upregulate early target genes, but not late osteogenic markers OPN and osteocalcin (OC). Furthermore, osteogenic BMPs failed to induce bone formation from human OS cells, rather effectively promoted OS tumor growth in an orthotopic OS model. Exogenous expression of early target genes enhanced BMP-stimulated OS tumor growth, whereas osteogenic BMP-promoted OS tumor growth was inhibited by exogenous Runx2 expression. These results suggest that alterations in osteoprogenitors may disrupt osteogenic differentiation pathway. Thus, identifying potential differentiation defects in OS tumors would allow us to reconstruct the tumorigenic events in osteoprogenitors and to develop rational differentiation therapies for clinical OS management.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pluripotent mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are bone marrow stromal progenitor cells that can differentiate into osteogenic, chondrogenic, adipogenic, and myogenic lineages. Several signaling pathways have been shown to regulate the lineage commitment and terminal differentiation of MSCs. Here, we conducted a comprehensive analysis of the 14 types of bone morphogenetic protein (BMPs) for their abilities to regulate multilineage specific differentiation of MSCs. We found that most BMPs exhibited distinct abilities to regulate the expression of Runx2, Sox9, MyoD, and PPARgamma2. Further analysis indicated that BMP-2, BMP-4, BMP-6, BMP-7, and BMP-9 effectively induced both adipogenic and osteogenic differentiation in vitro and in vivo. BMP-induced commitment to osteogenic or adipogenic lineage was shown to be mutually exclusive. Overexpression of Runx2 enhanced BMP-induced osteogenic differentiation, whereas knockdown of Runx2 expression diminished BMP-induced bone formation with a decrease in adipocyte accumulation in vivo. Interestingly, overexpression of PPARgamma2 not only promoted adipogenic differentiation, but also enhanced osteogenic differentiation upon BMP-2, BMP-6, and BMP-9 stimulation. Conversely, MSCs with PPARgamma2 knockdown or mouse embryonic fibroblasts derived from PPARgamma2(-/-) mice exhibited a marked decrease in adipogenic differentiation, coupled with reduced osteogenic differentiation and diminished mineralization upon BMP-9 stimulation, suggesting that PPARgamma2 may play a role in BMP-induced osteogenic and adipogenic differentiation. Thus, it is important to understand the molecular mechanism behind BMP-regulated lineage divergence during MSC differentiation, as this knowledge could help us to understand the pathogenesis of skeletal diseases and may lead to the development of strategies for regenerative medicine.
Stem cells and development 08/2008; 18(4):545-59. DOI:10.1089/scd.2008.0130 · 4.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated gene silencing has become a valuable tool for functional studies, reverse genomics, and drug discoveries. One major challenge of using RNAi is to identify the most effective short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) sites of a given gene. Although several published bioinformatic prediction models have proven useful, the process to select and validate optimal siRNA sites for a given gene remains empirical and laborious. Here, we developed a fluorescence-based selection system using a retroviral vector backbone, namely pSOS, which was based on the premise that candidate siRNAs would knockdown the chimeric transcript between GFP and target gene. The expression of siRNA was driven by the opposing convergent H1 and U6 promoters. This configuration simplifies the cloning of duplex siRNA oligonucleotide cassettes. We demonstrated that GFP signal reduction was closely correlated with siRNA knockdown efficiency of human beta-catenin, as well as with the inhibition of beta-catenin/Tcf4 signaling activity. The pSOS should not only facilitate the selection and validation of candidate siRNA sites, but also provide efficient delivery tools of siRNAs via viral vectors in mammalian cells. Thus, the pSOS system represents an efficient and user-friendly strategy to select and validate siRNA target sites.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Marrow mesenchymal stem cells are pluripotent progenitors that can differentiate into bone, cartilage, muscle, and fat cells. Wnt signaling has been implicated in regulating osteogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells. Here, we analyzed the gene expression profile of mesenchymal stem cells that were stimulated with Wnt3A. Among the 220 genes whose expression was significantly changed by 2.5-fold, we found that three members of the CCN family, CCN1/Cyr61, CCN2/connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), and CCN5/WISP2, were among the most significantly up-regulated genes. We further investigated the role of CCN1/Cyr61 in Wnt3A-regulated osteogenic differentiation. We confirmed that CCN1/Cyr61 was up-regulated at the early stage of Wnt3A stimulation. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis indicates that CCN1/Cyr61 is a direct target of canonical Wnt/beta-catenin signaling. RNA interference-mediated knockdown of CCN1/Cyr61 expression diminished Wnt3A-induced osteogenic differentiation. Furthermore, exogenously expressed CCN1/Cyr61 was shown to effectively promote mesenchymal stem cell migration. These findings suggest that tightly regulated CCN1/Cyr61 expression may play an important role in Wnt3A-induced osteoblast differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Osteosarcoma is the most common primary malignancy of bone and patients often develop pulmonary metastases. In order to investigate the pathogenesis of human osteosarcoma, there is a great need to develop a clinically relevant animal model. Here we report the development of an osteosarcoma animal model using three related human osteosarcoma lines, the parental TE-85 and two derivative lines MNNG/HOS and 143B. In vitro characterization demonstrated that the 143B line had the greatest cell migration and the least cell adhesion activities among the three lines. The 143B line also exhibited the greatest ability for anchorage independent growth. When GFP-tagged osteosarcoma cells were injected into the proximal tibia of athymic mice, we found that 143B cells were highly tumorigenic and metastatic, and MNNG/HOS cells were tumorigenic but significantly less metastatic. TE85 cells were neither tumorigenic nor metastatic. The number of pulmonary metastases was found 50-fold higher in 143B injected animals than that in MNNG/HOS injected mice. No pulmonary metastases were detected in TE85 injected animals for up to 8 weeks. Primary tumors formed by MNNG/HOS and 143B cells could be visualized by whole body fluorescence imaging, while the pulmonary metastases were visualized on the necropsied samples. The GFP tagged 143B cells (and to a lesser extent, MNNG/HOS cells) were readily recovered from lung metastases. This clinically relevant model of human osteosarcoma provides varying degrees of tumor growth at the primary site and metastatic potential. Thus, this orthotopic model should be a valuable tool to investigate factors that promote or inhibit osteosarcoma growth and/or metastasis.