Migfilin's elimination from osteoarthritic chondrocytes further promotes the osteoarthritic phenotype via β-catenin upregulation
Papanikolaou, Vassilis K.
Malizos, Konstantinos N.
Tsezou, Aspasia N.
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Osteoarthritis (OA) is a debilitating disease of the joints characterized by cartilage degradation but to date there is no available pharmacological treatment to inhibit disease progression neither is there any available biomarker to predict its development. In the present study, we examined the expression level and possible involvement of novel cell-ECM adhesion-related molecules such as Iintegrin Linked Kinase (ILK), PINCH, parvin, Mig-2 and Migfilin in OA pathogenesis using primary human articular chondrocytes from healthy individuals and OA patients. Our findings show that only ILK and Migfilin were upregulated in OA compared to the normal chondrocytes. Interestingly, Migfilin silencing in OA chondrocytes rather exacerbated than ameliorated the osteoarthritic phenotype, as it resulted in even higher levels of catabolic and hypertrophic markers while at the same time induced reduction in ECM molecules such as aggrecan. Furthermore, we also provide a link between Migfilin and β-catenin activation in OA chondrocytes, showing Migfilin to be inversely correlated with β-catenin. Thus, the present study emphasizes for the first time to our knowledge the role of Migfilin in OA and highlights the importance of cell-ECM adhesion proteins in OA pathogenesis.