Iron excess limits HHIPL-2 gene expression and decreases osteoblastic activity in human MG-63 cells
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In order to understand mechanisms involved in osteoporosis observed during iron overload diseases, we analyzed the impact of iron on a human osteoblast-like cell line. Iron exposure decreases osteoblast phenotype. HHIPL-2 is an iron-modulated gene which could contribute to these alterations. Our results suggest osteoblast impairment in iron-related osteoporosis.
Iron overload may cause osteoporosis. An iron-related decrease in osteoblast activity has been suggested.
We investigated the effect of iron exposure on human osteoblast cells (MG-63) by analyzing the impact of ferric ammonium citrate (FAC) and iron citrate (FeCi) on the expression of genes involved in iron metabolism or associated with osteoblast phenotype. A transcriptomic analysis was performed to identify iron-modulated genes.
FAC and FeCi exposure modulated cellular iron status with a decrease in TFRC mRNA level and an increase in intracellular ferritin level. FAC increased ROS level and caspase 3 activity. Ferroportin, HFE and TFR2 mRNAs were expressed in MG-63 cells under basal conditions. The level of ferroportin mRNA was increased by iron, whereas HFE mRNA level was decreased. The level of mRNA alpha 1 collagen type I chain, osteocalcin and the transcriptional factor RUNX2 were decreased by iron. Transcriptomic analysis revealed that the mRNA level of HedgeHog Interacting Protein Like-2 (HHIPL-2) gene, encoding an inhibitor of the hedgehog signaling pathway, was decreased in the presence of FAC. Specific inhibition of HHIPL-2 expression decreased osteoblast marker mRNA levels. Purmorphamine, hedgehog pathway activator, increased the mRNA level of GLI1, a target gene for the hedgehog pathway, and decreased osteoblast marker levels. GLI1 mRNA level was increased under iron exposure.
We showed that in human MG-63 cells, iron exposure impacts iron metabolism and osteoblast gene expression. HHIPL-2 gene expression modulation may contribute to these alterations. Our results support a role of osteoblast impairment in iron-related osteoporosis.
KeywordsGene expression Hemochromatosis HHIPL-2 Iron overload Osteoblast Osteoporosis
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