Cellular physiology and biochemistry : international journal of experimental cellular physiology, biochemistry, and pharmacology

Periodic Mechanical Stress INDUCES Chondrocyte Proliferation and Matrix Synthesis via CaMKII-Mediated Pyk2 Signaling.

PMID 28558386


Periodic mechanical stress can promote chondrocyte proliferation and matrix synthesis to improve the quality of tissue-engineered cartilage. Although the integrin β1-ERK1/2 signal cascade has been implicated in periodic mechanical stress-induced mitogenic effects in chondrocytes, the precise mechanisms have not been fully established. The current study was designed to probe the roles of CaMKII and Pyk2 signaling in periodic mechanical stress-mediated chondrocyte proliferation and matrix synthesis. Chondrocytes were subjected to periodic mechanical stress, proliferation was assessed by direct cell counting and CCK-8 assay; gene expressions were analyzed using quantitative real-time PCR, protein abundance by Western blotting. Mechanical stress, markedly enhanced the phosphorylation levels of Pyk2 at Tyr402 and CaMKII at Thr286. Both suppression of Pyk2 with Pyk2 inhibitor PF431396 or Pyk2 shRNA and suppression of CaMKII with CaMKII inhibitor KN-93 or CaMKII shRNA blocked periodic mechanical stress-induced chondrocyte proliferation and matrix synthesis. Additionally, either pretreatment with KN-93 or shRNA targeted to CaMKII prevented the activation of ERK1/2 and Pyk2 under conditions of periodic mechanical stress. Interestingly, in relation to periodic mechanical stress, in the context of Pyk2 inhibition with PF431396 or its targeted shRNA, only the phosphorylation levels of ERK1/2 were abrogated, while CaMKII signal activation was not affected. Moreover, the phosphorylation levels of CaMKII- Thr286 and Pyk2- Tyr402 were abolished after pretreatment with blocking antibody against integrinβ1 exposed to periodic mechanical stress. Our results collectively indicate that periodic mechanical stress promotes chondrocyte proliferation and matrix synthesis through the integrinβ1-CaMKII-Pyk2-ERK1/2 signaling cascade.