Research ArticleOsteoarthritis

ITGBL1 modulates integrin activity to promote cartilage formation and protect against arthritis

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Science Translational Medicine  10 Oct 2018:
Vol. 10, Issue 462, eaam7486
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aam7486

Defense against joint degeneration

Chondrocytes secrete and become embedded in condensed extracellular matrix (ECM) during cartilage development. In joint disease such as osteoarthritis (OA), dysregulation of this process leads to degradation of the ECM. Song et al. found reduced expression of integrin-β–like 1 (ITGBL1), a secreted integrin inhibitory protein expressed during cartilage development, in samples of cartilage from patients with OA. ITGBL1 inhibited integrin-ECM interactions and promoted chondrogenic differentiation in cells. ITGBL1 depletion reduced ECM deposition and led to cartilage damage, whereas overexpression of ITGBL1 prevented knee joint degeneration in a mouse model of surgically induced OA. This study identifies a target to modulate integrin signaling, which could have potential therapeutic effects for OA.

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