Smoking and tetramer tryptase accelerate intervertebral disc degeneration by inducing METTL14-mediated DIXDC1 m6 modification

Ji Tu, Wentian Li, Philip M Hansbro, Qi Yan, Xupeng Bai, Donovan Chantal, Richard Y Kim, Izabela Galvao, Abhirup Das, Cao Yang, Jun Zou, Ashish D Diwan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although cigarette smoking (CS) and low back pain (LBP) are common worldwide, their correlations and the mechanisms of action remain unclear. We have shown that excessive activation of mast cells (MCs) and their proteases play key roles in CS-associated diseases, like asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), blood coagulation, and lung cancer. Previous studies have also shown that MCs and their proteases induce degenerative musculoskeletal disease. By using a custom-designed smoke-exposure mouse system, we demonstrated that CS results in intervertebral disc (IVD) degeneration and release of MC-restricted tetramer tryptases (TTs) in the IVDs. TTs were found to regulate the expression of methyltransferase 14 (METTL14) at the epigenetic level by inducing N6-methyladenosine (m6A) deposition in the 3′ untranslated region (UTR) of the transcript that encodes dishevelled-axin (DIX) domain-containing 1 (DIXDC1). That reaction increases the mRNA stability and expression of Dixdc1. DIXDC1 functionally interacts with disrupted in schizophrenia 1 (DISC1) to accelerate the degeneration and senescence of nucleus pulposus (NP) cells by activating a canonical Wnt pathway. Our study demonstrates the association between CS, MC-derived TTs, and LBP. These findings raise the possibility that METTL14-medicated DIXDC1 m6A modification could serve as a potential therapeutic target to block the development of degeneration of the NP in LBP patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2524-2542
Number of pages19
JournalMolecular Therapy
Volume31
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 02 Aug 2023
Externally publishedYes

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