© 2018 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 36:2728–2735, 2018.

mTOR‐mediated inactivation of 4E‐BP1, an inhibitor of translation, precedes cartilage degeneration in rat osteoarthritic knees

Olga Katsara Victoria Kolupaeva

Proper control of protein synthesis is vital for tissue homeostasis and its deregulation is characteristic of many disorders including osteoarthritis (OA). The objectives of this work were to analyze and correlate changes in activity of the translation apparatus associated with cartilage degeneration in an animal model of OA. Osteoarthritis was induced surgically in rats by anterior cruciate ligament transection (ACLT). Using a modified Mankin scoring system and analysis of protein expression we demonstrated, that mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1)‐mediated 4E‐BP1 phosphorylation was detected significantly earlier than other mTORC1‐mediated modifications, such as p70S6K and ULK1 phosphorylation. 4E‐BP1 is an inhibitor of cap‐dependent translation those functions are inhibited by mTORC1 mediated phosphorylation. This signaling event not only preceded prominent signs of cartilage degeneration but also the increase in global protein synthesis rate. These results suggest that abnormal mTORC1 activity is one of the primary dysregulations observed in OA cartilage. Importantly, it is distributed disproportionately between targets, with 4E‐BP1 being phosphorylated earlier than other downstream targets. Thus, our work provides new insights into the sequence of molecular events leading to cartilage destruction in OA and identifies translational control as an important regulatory hub involved in initiating OA.

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