Comparative analysis with collagen type II distinguishes cartilage oligomeric matrix protein as a primary TGFβ-responsive gene

H. Li, Dominik R Haudenschild, K. L. Posey, J. T. Hecht, P. E. Di Cesare, J. H N Yik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Objective: This study aims to investigate the regulation of expression of Cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP), which is predominately expressed by chondrocytes and functions to organize the extracellular matrix. Mutations in COMP cause two skeletal dysplasias: pseudoachondroplasia and multiple epiphyseal dysplasia. The mechanism controlling COMP expression during chondrocyte differentiation is still poorly understood. Design: Primary human bone marrow-derived stem cells were induced to differentiate into chondrocyte by pellet cultures. We then compared the temporal expression of COMP with the well-characterized cartilage-specific Type II collagen (Col2a1), and their response to transforming growth factor (TGF)β and Sox trio (Sox5, 6, and 9) stimulation. Results: COMP and Col2a1 expression are differentially regulated by three distinct mechanisms. First, upregulation of COMP mRNA precedes Col2a1 by several days during chondrogenesis. Second, COMP expression is independent of high cell density but requires TGF-β1. Induction of COMP mRNA by TGF-β1 is detected within 2. h in the absence of protein synthesis and is blocked by specific inhibitors of the TGFβ signaling pathway; and therefore, COMP is a primary TFGβ-response gene. Lastly, while Col2a1 expression is intimately controlled by the Sox trio, overexpression of Sox trio fails to activate the COMP promoter. Conclusion: COMP and Col2a1 expression are regulated differently during chondrogenesis. COMP is a primary response gene of TGFβ and its fast induction during chondrogenesis suggests that COMP is suitable for rapidly accessing the chondrogenic potential of stem cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1246-1253
Number of pages8
JournalOsteoarthritis and Cartilage
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2011


  • Chondrocyte differentiation
  • Chondrogenesis
  • Sox9
  • TGFβ

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rheumatology


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