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Nature communications

G-protein stimulatory subunit alpha and Gq/11α G-proteins are both required to maintain quiescent stem-like chondrocytes.


PMID 24781502

Abstract

Round chondrocytes in the resting zone of the growth plate provide precursors for columnar chondrocytes and have stem-like properties. Here we demonstrate that these stem-like chondrocytes undergo apoptosis in the absence of the receptor (PPR) for parathyroid hormone-related protein. We examine the possible roles of heterotrimeric G-proteins activated by the PPR. Inactivation of the G-protein stimulatory α-subunit (G(s)α) leads to accelerated differentiation of columnar chondrocytes, as seen in the PPR knockout, but a remnant of growth cartilage remains, in contrast to disappearance of the growth cartilage in the PPR knockout. Stem-like chondrocytes lose their quiescence and proliferate upon G(s)α ablation. Inactivation of G(s)α in mice with a mutant PPR that cannot activate G proteins, Gq and G11, leads to a PPR knockout-like phenotype. Thus, G(s)α is the major mediator of the anti-differentiation action of the PPR, while activation of both G(s)α and Gq/11α is required for quiescence of stem-like chondrocytes.

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