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Open Access Cartilage Tissue Formation From Dedifferentiated Chondrocytes by Codelivery of BMP-2 and SOX-9 Genes Encoding Bicistronic Vector

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Articular cartilage, when damaged by degenerative disease or trauma, has limited ability for self-repair. Recently, many trials have demonstrated that gene therapy combined with tissue engineering techniques would be a promising approach for cartilage regeneration. Bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP-2) is an important signal for upregulation of osteogenesis and chondrogenesis of stem cells. Sex-determining region Y box gene 9 (SOX-9) has also been reported as one of the key transcription factors for chondrogenesis. We hypothesized that codelivery of BMP-2 and SOX-9 genes would result in improved efficiency of recovery of normal chondrogenic properties in dedifferentiated chondrocytes. To this aim, we constructed a bicistronic vector encoding the BMP-2 and SOX-9 genes linked to the “self-cleaving” 2A peptide sequence. After gene delivery to dedifferentiated chondrocytes using a microporator transfection system, we confirmed over 65% delivery efficiency of the BMP-2 and SOX-9 genes. According to RT-PCR analysis and Alcian blue staining, simultaneous delivery of BMP-2/SOX-9 resulted in significantly increased expression of chondrogenesis-related markers (type II collagen and aggrecan) and GAG matrix formation compared with individual delivery of the BMP-2 or SOX-9 gene. Six weeks after in vivo transplantation, BMP-2/SOX-9 genes also showed a significant increase in cartilage formation compared with the BMP-2 or SOX-9 gene. These results demonstrate that codelivery of two chondrogenic lineage-determining genes can enhance normal chondrogenic properties of dedifferentiated chondrocytes followed by improved cartilage formation.

Keywords: Bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP-2); Cartilage tissue formation; Codelivery; Dedifferentiation; Sex-determining region Y box gene 9 (SOX-9)

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Biomedical Science, CHA University, Seoul, Republic of Korea

Publication date: 2013-09-11

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.
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