Both overuse and disuse of joints up-regulate matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) in articular cartilage and cause tissue degradation; however, moderate (physiological) loading maintains cartilage integrity. Here, we test whether CBP/p300-interacting transactivator with ED-rich tail 2 (CITED2), a mechanosensitive transcriptional coregulator, mediates this chondroprotective effect of moderate mechanical loading. In vivo, hind-limb immobilization of Sprague-Dawley rats up-regulates MMP-1 and causes rapid, histologically detectable articular cartilage degradation. One hour of daily passive joint motion prevents these changes and up-regulates articular cartilage CITED2. In vitro, moderate (2.5 MPa, 1 Hz) intermittent hydrostatic pressure (IHP) treatment suppresses basal MMP-1 expression and up-regulates CITED2 in human chondrocytes, whereas high IHP (10 MPa) down-regulates CITED2 and increases MMP-1. Competitive binding and transcription assays demonstrate that CITED2 suppresses MMP-1 expression by competing with MMP transactivator, Ets-1 for its coactivator p300. Furthermore, CITED2 up-regulation in vitro requires the p38δ isoform, which is specifically phosphorylated by moderate IHP. Together, these studies identify a novel regulatory pathway involving CITED2 and p38δ, which may be critical for the maintenance of articular cartilage integrity under normal physical activity levels.
- Matrix metalloproteinases
- Mechanotransduction, chondrocyte regulation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology