Teneurin-4, a transmembrane protein, is a novel regulator that suppresses chondrogenic differentiation

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Abstract

Teneurin-4 (Ten-4), a transmembrane protein, is expressed in the nervous systems and the mesenchymal tissues, including the cartilage. However, the Ten-4 function in cartilage development remains unknown. Here, we showed that Ten-4 is a novel regulator of chondrogenesis. In situ hybridization analysis revealed that Ten-4 was highly expressed in the mesenchymal condensation area of the mouse femur at embryonic day (E) 13.5, while its expression was decreased in the growth plate of the femur at E18.5. Using the cartilage-like pellet culture of human synovial mesenchymal cells, Ten-4 expression was induced and peaked 7 days after induction of differentiation, while a production of type II and X collagens was increased after Day 14. In the cartilage-like pellet, Ten-4 was highly expressed in the less differentiated region. In the chondrogenic cell line ATDC5, knockdown of Ten-4 expression significantly increased the alcian blue staining and expression levels of aggrecan and type II and X collagens. Further, an elevated expression of Sox6, Sox9, and Runx2 and an attenuation of the ERK activation were observed in the Ten-4-knockdown ATDC5 cells. These results suggested that Ten-4 suppresses chondrogenic differentiation and regulates the expression and activation of the key molecules for chondrogenesis. © 2014 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 32:915–922, 2014.

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