A novel phosphorylation by AMP-activated kinase regulates RUNX2 from ubiquitination in osteogenesis over adipogenesis article

No Thumbnail Available
Chava, Suresh
Chennakesavulu, S.
Gayatri, Meher B.
Reddy, Aramati B.M.
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) function as progenitors to a variety of cell types. The reported association between osteogenic and adipogenic commitment during differentiation is due to the regulation of key transcription factors in the signaling pathways. However, the process of adipogenesis at the expense of osteogenic phenotype during metabolic stress is still unclear. In this study, we showed for the first time that RUNX2 is a novel substrate of AMP-activated kinase (AMPK), which directly phosphorylates at serine 118 residue in the DNA-binding domain of RUNX2. Our results in in vitro MSC lineage differentiation models confirmed that active AMPK and RUNX2-S118 phosphorylation are preferentially associated with osteogenic commitment, whereas the lack of this phosphorylation leads to adipogenesis. This interplay is regulated by the ubiquitination of non-phosphorylated RUNX2-S118, which is evident in the dominant mutant RUNX2-S118D. Pharmacological activation of AMPK by metformin significantly abrogated the loss of RUNX2-S118 phosphorylation and protected from tunicamycin-induced endoplasmic reticulum stress, high glucose-induced in vitro adipogenesis and streptozotocin-induced in vivo bone adiposity and bone phenotype. In conclusion, results from this study demonstrated that RUNX2 is a direct target of AMPK which simplified the outlook towards several complex mechanisms that are currently established concerning cellular metabolism and pathogenesis.
Cell Death and Disease. v.9(7)