Use of staurosporine, an actin-modifying agent, to enhance fibrochondrocyte matrix gene expression and synthesis

Gwendolyn M. Hoben, Kyriacos A. Athanasiou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


Modulation of the actin cytoskeleton in chondrocytes has been used to prevent or reverse dedifferentiation and to enhance protein synthesis. We have hypothesized that an actin-modifying agent, staurosporine, could be used with fibrochondrocytes to increase the gene expression and synthesis of critical fibrocartilage proteins. A range of concentrations (0.1-100 nM) was applied to fibrochondrocytes in monolayer and evaluated after 24 h and after 4 days. High-dose staurosporine treatment (10-100 nM) increased cartilage oligomeric matrix protein 60- to 500-fold and aggrecan gene expression two-fold. This effective range of staurosporine was then applied to scaffoldless tissue-engineered fibrochondrocyte constructs for 4 weeks. Whereas glycosaminoglycan synthesis was not affected, collagen content doubled, from 27.6∈±∈8.8 μg in the untreated constructs to 55.2∈±∈12.2 μg per construct with 100 nM treatment. When analyzed for specific collagens, the 10-nM group showed a significant increase in collagen type I content, whereas collagen type II was unaffected. A concomitant dose-dependent reduction was noted in construct contraction, reflecting the actin-disrupting action of staurosporine. Thus, staurosporine increases the gene expression for important matrix proteins and can be used to enhance matrix production and reduce contraction in tissue-engineered fibrocartilage constructs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)469-476
Number of pages8
JournalCell and Tissue Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • α-Smooth muscle actin
  • Bovine
  • Collagen
  • Fibrocartilage
  • Fibrochondrocytes
  • Staurosporine
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Cell Biology
  • Histology

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