AKAP2 overexpression modulates growth plate chondrocyte functions through ERK1/2 signaling.


Wang B(1), Jiang B(1), Li Y(2), Dai Y(1), Li P(1), Li L(1), Xu J(1), Li L(1), Wu P(3).
Author information:
(1)Department of Spine Surgery, The Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, China.
(2)Department of Spine Surgery, The Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, China. Electronic address: [Email]
(3)Center for Medical Genetics, School of Life Sciences, Central South University, China.


In our previous study, the mutation c.2645A > C (p. E882A) was found in the A-Kinase Anchoring Protein 2 (AKAP2) gene, which plays an important role in regulating the development of the skeletal system; however, the specific effect of AKAP2 on chondrocyte proliferation and differentiation and the potential mechanism are still not clear. In the present study, we investigated the effect of AKAP2 in vitro. We successfully isolated human growth plate chondrocytes (GPCs) from growth plate cartilage tissues and identified GPCs by aggrecan expression and flow cytometric analysis. AKAP2 overexpression significantly promoted GPC proliferation, enhanced GPC differentiation, and promoted extracellular matrix (ECM) synthesis, whereas AKAP2 silencing exerted the opposite effects on GPCs. AKAP2 overexpression increased, while AKAP2 silencing decreased, the protein levels of p-extracellular regulated protein kinases (ERK)1/2. More importantly, the promotive effects of AKAP2 overexpression on GPC proliferation, differentiation, and ECM synthesis were significantly reversed by the ERK1/2 signaling antagonist U0126, suggesting that AKAP2 enhances GPC functions through ERK1/2 signaling. In conclusion, we demonstrate AKAP2 overexpression-induced enhancement of GPC functions through ERK1/2 signaling. Considering the critical role of GPC functions in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) pathogenesis, the application of AKAP2 targeting in AIS treatment should be investigated in future studies.