Follistatin-like protein 1 induction of matrix metalloproteinase 1, 3 and 13 gene expression in rheumatoid arthritis synoviocytes requires MAPK, JAK/STAT3 and NF-κB pathways

Su Ni, Chenkai Li, Nanwei Xu, Xi Liu, Wei Wang, Wenyang Chen, Yuji Wang, Andre J. van Wijnen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Elevated levels of follistatin-like protein 1 (FSTL1) have been found both in mouse models for human rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and collagen-induced arthritis (CIA). In this study, we elucidated the potential mechanisms by which FSTL1 contributes to the pathogenesis of RA. Fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLSs) were established from synovial tissues of RA patients and stimulated with human recombinant FSTL1. Protein and mRNA expression levels of select matrix metalloproteinases (i.e., MMP1, MMP3, MMP13) in FLS were measured by, respectively, real-time RT-qPCR and ELISA. Activation of MAPK and other pathways that affect MMPs were evaluated by Western blotting. We also compared concentrations of MMPs in plasma in RA patients versus healthy controls (HC). Expression levels of MMP1, MMP3, and MMP13 were clearly stimulated by FSTL1 in vitro. FSTL1 activated the inflammation-related NF-κB signaling pathway, as well as all three mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways and the JAK/STAT3 pathway. Moreover, select chemical inhibitors that target p38 (SB203580), Erk1/2 (SP600125), JNK (SCH772984), STAT3 (AG490), and NF-κB (BAY 11–7082) significantly attenuated MMP expression. Inhibition of Toll-like receptor 4 by compound TAK-242 significantly abolished those effects of FSTL1. Importantly, elevated plasma concentrations of MMP3 were found to correlate with plasma FSTL1 levels in RA patients. These findings suggest that FSTL1 accelerates RA progression by activating MAPK, JAK/STAT3, and NF-κB pathways to enhance secretion of different MMPs and this enhancement is via TLR4. Targeting FSTL1 may provide a promising pharmacological drug therapy to ameliorate RA symptoms and perhaps reverse disease progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)454-463
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Volume234
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2018

Keywords

  • FSTL1
  • TLR4
  • fibroblast-like synoviocyte
  • matrix metalloproteinases
  • rheumatoid arthritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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