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Open Access Research article

Cia5d regulates a new fibroblast-like synoviocyte invasion-associated gene expression signature

Teresina Laragione1, Max Brenner1, Wentian Li2 and Pércio S Gulko13*

Author Affiliations

1 Laboratory of Experimental Rheumatology, Center for Genomics and Human Genetics, Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, 350 Community Drive, Manhasset, New York 11030, USA

2 Genomics and Human Genetics, Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, 350 Community Drive Manhasset, New York 11030, USA

3 Department of Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, 550 First Avenue, New York, 10016, USA

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Arthritis Research & Therapy 2008, 10:R92  doi:10.1186/ar2476

Published: 15 August 2008

Abstract

Introduction

The in vitro invasive properties of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLSs) have been shown to correlate with disease severity and radiographic damage. We recently determined that FLSs obtained from pristane-induced arthritis (PIA)-susceptible DA rats are also highly invasive in the same in vitro assay through Matrigel. The transfer of alleles derived from the arthritis-resistant F344 strain at the arthritis severity locus Cia5d (RNO10), as in DA.F344(Cia5d) congenics, was enough to significantly and specifically reduce the invasive properties of FLSs. This genetically controlled difference in FLS invasion involves increased production of soluble membrane-type 1 matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) by DA, and is dependent on increased activation of MMP-2. In the present study we aimed to characterize the pattern of gene expression that correlates with differences in invasion in order to identify pathways regulated by the Cia5d locus.

Methods

Synovial tissues were collected from DA and DA.F344(Cia5d) rats 21 days after the induction of PIA. Tissues were digested and FLSs isolated. After a minimum of four passages, FLSs were plated on Matrigel-covered dishes at similar densities, followed by RNA extraction. Illumina RatRef-12 expression BeadChip arrays were used. Expression data were normalized, followed by t-test, logistic regression, and cluster analysis. Real-time PCR was used to validate the microarray data.

Results

Out of the 22,523 RefSeq gene probes present in the array, 7,665 genes were expressed by the FLSs. The expression of 66 genes was significantly different between the DA and DA.F344(Cia5d) FLSs (P < 0.01). Nineteen of the 66 differentially expressed genes (28.7%) are involved in the regulation of cell cycle progression or cancer-associated phenotypes, such as invasion and contact inhibition. These included Cxcl10, Vil2 and Nras, three genes that are upregulated in DA and known to regulate MMP-2 expression and activation. Nine of the 66 genes (13.6%) are involved in the regulation of estrogen receptor signaling or transcription. Five candidate genes located within the Cia5d interval were also differentially expressed.

Conclusions

We have identified a novel FLS invasion associated gene expression signature that is regulated by Cia5d. Many of the genes found to be differentially expressed were previously implicated in cancer cell phenotypes, including invasion. This suggests a parallel in the behavior of arthritis FLSs and cancer cells, and identifies novel pathways and genes for therapeutic intervention and prognostication.