Canonical and noncanonical TGF-β signaling regulate fibrous tissue differentiation in the axial skeleton

Academic Article


  • Previously, we showed that embryonic deletion of TGF-β type 2 receptor in mouse sclerotome resulted in defects in fibrous connective tissues in the spine. Here we investigated how TGF-β regulates expression of fibrous markers: Scleraxis, Fibromodulin and Adamtsl2. We showed that TGF-β stimulated expression of Scleraxis mRNA by 2 h and Fibromodulin and Adamtsl2 mRNAs by 8 h of treatment. Regulation of Scleraxis by TGF-β did not require new protein synthesis; however, protein synthesis was required for expression of Fibromodulin and Adamtsl2 indicating the necessity of an intermediate. We subsequently showed Scleraxis was a potential intermediate for TGF-β-regulated expression of Fibromodulin and Adamtsl2. The canonical effector Smad3 was not necessary for TGF-β-mediated regulation of Scleraxis. Smad3 was necessary for regulation of Fibromodulin and Adamtsl2, but not sufficient to super-induce expression with TGF-β treatment. Next, the role of several noncanonical TGF-β pathways were tested. We found that ERK1/2 was activated by TGF-β and required to regulate expression of Scleraxis, Fibromodulin, and Adamtsl2. Based on these results, we propose a model in which TGF-β regulates Scleraxis via ERK1/2 and then Scleraxis and Smad3 cooperate to regulate Fibromodulin and Adamtsl2. These results define a novel signaling mechanism for TGFβ-mediated fibrous differentiation in sclerotome.
  • Published In

  • Scientific Reports  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Clayton SW; Ban GI; Liu C; Serra R
  • Volume

  • 10
  • Issue

  • 1