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    Cartilage mineralization is a tightly controlled process, imperative for skeletal growth and fracture repair. However, in osteoarthritis (OA), cartilage mineralization may impact the joint range of motion, inflict pain, and increase chances for joint effusion. Here we attempt to understand the link between inflammation and cartilage mineralization by targeting Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) and lymphoid enhancer binding factor 1 (LEF1), both reported to have contrasting effects on cartilage. We find that inflammatory-dependent cleavage of SIRT1 or its cartilage-specific genetic ablation, directly enhanced LEF1 expression accompanied by a catabolic response. Applying a posttraumatic OA (PTOA) model to cartilage-specific Sirt1 nulls displayed severe OA, which was accompanied by synovitis, meniscal mineralization, and osteophyte formation of the lateral joint compartment. Alternatively, cartilage-specific Lef1 nulls presented reduced lateral mineralization, OA severity, and local pain. Differential gene expression analysis revealed that Lef1 ablation reduced nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) and Toll-like receptor (Tlr) pathways, while enhancing SRY-Box transcription factor 9 (Sox9) and cartilaginous extracellular matrix genes. The results support a link between inflammation and Lef1-dependent cartilage mineralization, mediated by the inactivation of Sirt1. By ablating Lef1 in a PTOA model, the structural and pain-related phenotypes of OA were reduced, in part, by preventing cartilage mineralization of the lateral joint compartment, partially manifested by meniscal tissue mineralization. Overall, these data provide a molecular axis to link between inflammation and cartilage in a PTOA model.

    Citation

    Jinan Elayyan, Idan Carmon, Lital Zecharyahu, George Batshon, Yonathan H Maatuf, Eli Reich, Maitena Dumont, Leonid Kandel, Michael Klutstein, Mona Dvir-Ginzberg. Lef1 ablation alleviates cartilage mineralization following posttraumatic osteoarthritis induction. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2022 May 24;119(21):e2116855119

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    PMID: 35594394

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