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Articles by C. Phornphutkul
Total Records ( 5 ) for C. Phornphutkul
  M. S Kim , K. Y Wu , V Auyeung , Q Chen , P. A Gruppuso and C. Phornphutkul

Linear growth in children is sensitive to nutritional status. Amino acids, in particular leucine, have been shown to regulate cell growth, proliferation, and differentiation through the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), a nutrient-sensing protein kinase. Having recently demonstrated a role for mTOR in chondrogenesis, we hypothesized that leucine restriction, acting through mTOR, would inhibit growth plate chondrocyte proliferation and differentiation. The effect of leucine restriction was compared with that of the specific mTOR inhibitor, rapamycin. Leucine restriction produced a dose-dependent inhibition of fetal rat metatarsal explant growth. This was accounted by reduced cell proliferation and hypertrophy but not apoptosis. mTOR activity, as reflected by ribosomal protein S6 phosphorylation, was only partially inhibited by leucine restriction, whereas rapamycin abolished S6 phosphorylation. In chondrogenic ATDC5 cells, leucine restriction inhibited cell number, proteoglycan accumulation, and collagen X expression despite minimal inhibition of mTOR. Microarray analysis demonstrated that the effect of leucine restriction on ATDC5 cell gene expression differed from that of rapamycin. Out of 1,571 genes affected by leucine restriction and 535 genes affected by rapamycin, only 176 genes were affected by both. These findings indicate that the decreased chondrocyte growth and differentiation associated with leucine restriction is only partly attributable to inhibition of mTOR signaling. Thus nutrient restriction appears to directly modulate bone growth through unidentified mTOR-independent mechanisms in addition to the well-characterized mTOR nutrient-sensing pathway.

  T. M Temu , K. Y Wu , P. A Gruppuso and C. Phornphutkul

The ATDC5 cell line exhibits a multistep process of chondrogenic differentiation analogous to that observed during endochondral bone formation. Previous investigators have induced ATDC5 cells to differentiate by exposing them to insulin at high concentrations. We have observed spontaneous differentiation of ATDC5 cells maintained in ascorbic acid-containing -MEM. A comparison of the differentiation events in response to high-dose insulin vs. ascorbic acid showed similar expression patterns of key genes, including collagen II, Runx2, Sox9, Indian hedgehog, and collagen X. We took advantage of the action of ascorbic acid to examine signaling events associated with differentiation. In contrast to high-dose insulin, which downregulates both IGF-I and insulin receptors, there were only minimal changes in the abundance of these receptors during ascorbic acid-induced differentiation. Furthermore, ascorbic acid exposure was associated with ERK activation, and ERK inhibition attenuated ascorbic acid-induced differentiation. This was in contrast to the inhibitory effect of ERK activation during IGF-I-induced differentiation. Inhibition of collagen formation with a proline analog markedly attenuated the differentiating effect of ascorbic acid on ATDC5 cells. When plates were conditioned with ATDC5 cells exposed to ascorbic acid, ATDC5 cells were able to differentiate in the absence of ascorbic acid. Our results indicate that matrix formation early in the differentiation process is essential for ascorbic acid-induced ATDC5 differentiation. We conclude that ascorbic acid can promote the differentiation of ATDC5 cells by promoting the formation of collagenous matrix and that matrix formation mediates activation of the ERK signaling pathway, which promotes the differentiation program.

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