Long-bone growth by endochondral ossification is cooperatively accomplished by chondrocyte proliferation, hypertrophic differentiation, and appropriate secretion of collagens, glycoproteins, and proteoglycans into the extracellular matrix (ECM). Before folding and entering the secretory pathway, ECM macromolecules in general are subject to extensive posttranslational modification, orchestrated by chaperone complexes in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). ERp57 is a member of the protein disulfide isomerase (PDI) family and facilitates correct folding of newly synthesized glycoproteins by rearrangement of native disulfide bonds. Here, we show that ERp57-dependent PDI activity is essential for postnatal skeletal growth, especially during the pubertal growth spurt characterized by intensive matrix deposition. Loss of ERp57 in growth plates of cartilage-specific ERp57 knockout mice (ERp57 KO) results in ER stress, unfolded protein response (UPR), reduced proliferation, and accelerated apoptotic cell death of chondrocytes. Together this results in a delay of long-bone growth with the following characteristics: (1) enlarged growth plates; (2) expanded hypertrophic zones; (3) retarded osteoclast recruitment; (4) delayed remodeling of the proteoglycan-rich matrix; and (5) reduced numbers of bone trabeculae. All the growth plate and bone abnormalities, however, become attenuated after the pubertal growth spurt, when protein synthesis is decelerated and, hence, ERp57 function is less essential. (c) 2015 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.
Type of Publication:
Journal article published