Research ArticleOsteoarthritis

Mohawk is a transcription factor that promotes meniscus cell phenotype and tissue repair and reduces osteoarthritis severity

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Science Translational Medicine  28 Oct 2020:
Vol. 12, Issue 567, eaan7967
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aan7967

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Managing meniscus maladies

Knee osteoarthritis can develop from meniscus tears that do not heal. Lee et al. investigated transcription factors that regulate meniscus cell biology. They found that Mohawk (MKX) was enriched in meniscus, induced meniscus-like differentiation in mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), and suppressed genes related to osteoarthritis and meniscus degeneration and calcification. Treating bovine decellularized meniscus scaffolds with MKX-transduced MSCs improved meniscus healing, and injecting adenoviral MKX into mouse knee joints protected against cartilage damage in a model of osteoarthritis. This suggests that MKX may be a therapeutic target for meniscus injury and osteoarthritis.

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