Background: Lubricin/proteoglycan 4 (PRG4) is a mucinous glycoprotein secreted by synovial fibroblasts and superficial zone chondrocytes. Recently, we showed that recombinant human PRG4 (rhPRG4) is a putative ligand for CD44 receptor. rhPRG4-CD44 interaction inhibits cytokine-induced rheumatoid arthritis synoviocyte proliferation. The objective of this study is to decipher the autocrine function of PRG4 in regulating osteoarthritic synoviocyte proliferation and expression of catabolic and pro-inflammatory mediators under basal and interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β)- stimulated conditions.
Methods: Cytosolic and nuclear levels of nuclear factor kappa B (NFκB) p50 and p65 subunits in Prg4+/+ and Prg4-/- synoviocytes were studied using western blot. Nuclear translocation of p50 and p65 proteins in osteoarthritis (OA) fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) in response to IL-1β stimulation in the absence or presence of rhPRG4 was studied using DNA binding assays. OA synoviocyte (5000 cells per well) proliferation following IL-1β (20 ng/ml) treatment in the absence or presence of rhPRG4 (50–200 μg/ml) over 48 hours was determined using a colorimetric assay. Gene expression of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), tissue inhibitor of metallproteinases-1 (TIMP-1), TIMP-2, IL-1β, IL-6, IL- 8, TNF-α, cycloxygenae-2 (COX2) and PRG4 in unstimulated and IL-1β (1 ng/ml)-stimulated OA synoviocytes, in the presence or absence of rhPRG4 (100 and 200 μg/ml), was studied following incubation for 24 hours.
Results: Prg4-/- synoviocytes contained higher nuclear p50 and p65 levels compared to Prg4+/+ synoviocytes (p < 0. 05). rhPRG4 (100 μg/ml) reduced p50 and p65 nuclear levels in Prg4+/+ and Prg4-/- synoviocytes (p < 0.001). Similarly, rhPRG4 (200 μg/ml) inhibited NFκB translocation and cell proliferation in OA synoviocytes in a CD44-dependent manner (p < 0.001) via inhibition of IκBα phosphorylation. IL-1β reduced PRG4 expression in OA synoviocytes and rhPRG4 (100 μg/ml) treatment reversed this effect (p < 0.001). rhPRG4 (200 μg/ml) reduced basal gene expression of MMP-1, MMP-3, MMP-13, IL-6, IL-8, and PRG4 in OA synoviocytes, while increasing TIMP-2 and cycloxygenase-2 (COX2) expression (p < 0.001). rhPRG4 (200 μg/ml) reduced IL-1β induction of MMP-1, MMP-3, MMP-9, MMP-13, IL-6, IL-8, and COX2 expression in a CD44-dependent manner (p < 0.001).
Conclusion: PRG4 plays an important anti-inflammatory role in regulating OA synoviocyte proliferation and reduces basal and IL-1β-stimulated expression of catabolic mediators. Exogenous rhPRG4 autoregulates native PRG4 expression in OA synoviocytes.
Alquraini A, Jamal M, Zhang L, Schmidt T, Jay GD, Elsaid KA. The autocrine role of proteoglycan-4 (PRG4) in modulating osteoarthritic synoviocyte proliferation and expression of matrix degrading enzymes. Arthritis Research & Therapy. 2017;19:89. doi:10.1186/s13075-017-1301-5.
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