IFT80 Is Required for Fracture Healing Through Controlling the Regulation of TGF-ß Signaling in Chondrocyte Differentiation and Function

M Liu, etc
Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, 2019

Primary cilia are essential cellular organelles that are anchored at the cell surface membrane to sense and transduce signaling. Intraflagellar transport (IFT) proteins are indispensable for cilia formation and function. Although major advances in understanding the roles of these proteins in bone development have been made, the mechanisms by which IFT proteins regulate bone repair have not been identified. We investigated the role of the IFT80 protein in chondrocytes during fracture healing by creating femoral fractures in mice with conditional deletion of IFT80 in chondrocytes utilizing tamoxifen inducible Col2a1-CreER mice. Col2a1creIFT80f/f mice had smaller fracture calluses than IFT80f/f (control) mice. The max-width and max-callus area were 31% and 48% smaller than those of the control mice, respectively. Col2a1creIFT80f/f mice formed low-density/porous woven bony tissue with significantly lower ratio of bone volume, Trabecular (Tb) number and Tb thickness, and greater Tb spacing compared to control mice. IFT80 deletion significantly downregulated the expression of angiogenesis markers-VEGF, PDGF and angiopoietin and inhibited fracture callus vascularization. Mechanistically, loss of IFT80 in chondrocytes resulted in a decrease in cilia formation and chondrocyte proliferation rate in fracture callus compared to the control mice. Meanwhile, IFT80 deletion downregulated the TGF-ß signaling pathway by inhibiting the expression of TGF-ßI, TGF-ßR, and phosphorylation of Smad2/3 in the fracture callus. In primary chondrocyte cultures in vitro, IFT80 deletion dramatically reduced chondrocyte proliferation, cilia assembly, and chondrogenic gene expression and differentiation. Collectively, our findings demonstrate that IFT80 and primary cilia play an essential role in fracture healing, likely through controlling chondrocyte proliferation and differentiation, and the TGF-ß signaling pathway. © 2019 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.

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Journal of Bone and Mineral Research
doi: 10.1002/jbmr.3902
University of Pennsylvania