Increased osteoblast apoptosis in apert craniosynostosis: role of protein kinase C and interleukin-1. (17/135)

Apert syndrome is an autosomal dominant disorder characterized by premature cranial ossification resulting from fibroblast growth factor receptor-2 (FGFR-2)-activating mutations. We have studied the effects of the prominent S252W FGFR-2 Apert mutation on apoptosis and the underlying mechanisms in human mutant osteoblasts. In vivo analysis of terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated nick-end labeling revealed premature apoptosis of mature osteoblasts and osteocytes in the Apert suture compared to normal coronal suture. In vitro, mutant osteoblasts showed increased apoptosis, as demonstrated by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated nick-end labeling analysis, trypan blue staining, and DNA fragmentation. Mutant osteoblasts also showed increased activity of caspase-8 and effector caspases (-3, -6, -7) constitutively. This was related to protein kinase C activation because the selective protein kinase C inhibitor calphostin C inhibited caspase-8, effector caspases, and apoptosis in mutant osteoblasts. Apert osteoblasts also showed increased expression of interleukin (IL)-1alpha, IL-1beta, Fas, and Bax, and decreased Bcl-2 levels. Specific neutralizing anti-IL-1 antibody reduced Fas levels, Bax expression, effector caspases activity, and apoptosis in mutant cells. Thus, the Apert S252W FGFR-2 mutation promotes apoptosis in human osteoblasts through activation of protein kinase C, overexpression of IL-1 and Fas, activation of caspase-8, and increased Bax/Bcl-2 levels, leading to increased effector caspases and DNA fragmentation. This identifies a complex FGFR-2 signaling pathway involved in the premature apoptosis induced by the Apert S252W FGFR-2 mutation in human calvaria osteoblasts.  (+info)

Increased bone formation and decreased osteocalcin expression induced by reduced Twist dosage in Saethre-Chotzen syndrome. (18/135)

The Saethre-Chotzen syndrome is characterized by premature fusion of cranial sutures resulting from mutations in Twist, a basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factor. We have identified Twist target genes using human mutant calvaria osteoblastic cells from a child with Saethre-Chotzen syndrome with a Twist mutation that introduces a stop codon upstream of the bHLH domain. We observed that Twist mRNA and protein levels were reduced in mutant cells and that the Twist mutation increased cell growth in mutant osteoblasts compared with control cells. The mutation also caused increased alkaline phosphatase and type I collagen expression independently of cell growth. During in vitro osteogenesis, Twist mutant cells showed increased ability to form alkaline phosphatase-positive bone-like nodular structures associated with increased type I collagen expression. Mutant cells also showed increased collagen synthesis and matrix production when cultured in aggregates, as well as an increased capacity to form a collagenous matrix in vivo when transplanted into nude mice. In contrast, Twist mutant osteoblasts displayed a cell-autonomous reduction of osteocalcin mRNA expression in basal conditions and during osteogenesis. The data show that genetic deletion of Twist causing reduced Twist dosage increases cell growth, collagen expression, and osteogenic capability, but inhibits osteocalcin gene expression. This provides one mechanism that may contribute to the premature cranial ossification induced by deletion of the bHLH Twist domain in Saethre-Chotzen syndrome.  (+info)

Structural basis for fibroblast growth factor receptor 2 activation in Apert syndrome. (19/135)

Apert syndrome (AS) is characterized by craniosynostosis (premature fusion of cranial sutures) and severe syndactyly of the hands and feet. Two activating mutations, Ser-252 --> Trp and Pro-253 --> Arg, in fibroblast growth factor receptor 2 (FGFR2) account for nearly all known cases of AS. To elucidate the mechanism by which these substitutions cause AS, we determined the crystal structures of these two FGFR2 mutants in complex with fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2). These structures demonstrate that both mutations introduce additional interactions between FGFR2 and FGF2, thereby augmenting FGFR2-FGF2 affinity. Moreover, based on these structures and sequence alignment of the FGF family, we propose that the Pro-253 --> Arg mutation will indiscriminately increase the affinity of FGFR2 toward any FGF. In contrast, the Ser-252 --> Trp mutation will selectively enhance the affinity of FGFR2 toward a limited subset of FGFs. These predictions are consistent with previous biochemical data describing the effects of AS mutations on FGF binding. Alterations in FGFR2 ligand affinity and specificity may allow inappropriate autocrine or paracrine activation of FGFR2. Furthermore, the distinct gain-of-function interactions observed in each crystal structure provide a model to explain the phenotypic variability among AS patients.  (+info)

Sequence analyses and comparative modeling of fly and worm fibroblast growth factor receptors indicate that the determinants for FGF and heparin binding are retained in evolution. (20/135)

The presence of a large number of fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) and multiple splice forms of their receptors (FGFRs) in higher vertebrates makes the three-dimensional (3D) analysis of FGF interactions with their receptors a formidable task. The situation differs in Caenorhabditis elegans (worm) and Drosophila melanogaster (fruit fly), where only one or two FGF and FGFR sequences have been identified. Structural studies of the FGF-FGFR complexes in such primitive organisms should reveal the basic features of the ligand-receptor interactions as they first emerged through evolution. We have analysed the sequences of worm and fly FGFs and FGFRs and used the recently determined crystal structure of the human FGF1-FGFR2-heparin ternary complex [Pellegrini, L., Burke, D.F., von Delft, F., Mulloy, B. and Blundell, T.L. (2000) Nature 407, 1029-34] to construct 3D models of the homologous complexes. In spite of a low sequence similarity with their human counterparts, key structural features required for ligand-receptor and protein-heparin binding in humans are conserved in the fly and worm FGF-FGFR-heparin complexes. Analyses of the models show that tertiary interactions that are not conserved in sequence are maintained through novel interactions or complementary mutations in the fly and worm sequences. The overall charge distributions observed in the human FGF-FGFR-heparin complex are retained in the fly and worm models. The arginine residue at position 253 in the linker region between the Ig-like domains D2 and D3 in the wild type fly and worm sequences is particularly striking, as the Pro253Arg mutation in humans is responsible for Apert syndrome. This change may enhance the affinity of receptors for their FGF molecules as observed in Apert mutants.  (+info)

Neuropsychological and phonological evaluation in the Apert's syndrome: study of two cases. (21/135)

This study evaluated two cases of Apert's syndrome, through phonological, cognitive, and neuropsychological instruments and correlated the results to complementary exams. In short, this study reveals the necessity of application of neuropsychological, cognitive and phonological evaluation and correlation of the results with complementary testings because significant differences can be present in the Apert's syndrome.  (+info)

Correction of severe facial deformity. (22/135)

A craniofacial team has been developed to corrdinate the treatment of patients with severe facial deformity and to minimize the surgical risks. Two hundred patients have been evaluated in the last 4 years and more than 100 treated by this team to correct orbital hypertelorism, oxycephaly and plagiocephaly with exophthalmos, features of Crouzon's disease and Apert's and Treacher Collins syndromes, hemifacial microsomia, and severe lower facial deformity and malocclusion. Surgical principles include extensive subperiosteal stripping of bone, osteotomy as necessary, and repositioning maintained by bone grafts. Postoperative evaluation is being maintained for 5 years or to maturity in younger children. Although many of the results are less than perfect, there has been sufficient improvement, especially psychologic and functional, to warrant continuation of the surgical program under closely controlled conditions.  (+info)

Genomic screening of fibroblast growth-factor receptor 2 reveals a wide spectrum of mutations in patients with syndromic craniosynostosis. (23/135)

It has been known for several years that heterozygous mutations of three members of the fibroblast growth-factor-receptor family of signal-transduction molecules-namely, FGFR1, FGFR2, and FGFR3-contribute significantly to disorders of bone patterning and growth. FGFR3 mutations, which predominantly cause short-limbed bone dysplasia, occur in all three major regions (i.e., extracellular, transmembrane, and intracellular) of the protein. By contrast, most mutations described in FGFR2 localize to just two exons (IIIa and IIIc), encoding the IgIII domain in the extracellular region, resulting in syndromic craniosynostosis including Apert, Crouzon, or Pfeiffer syndromes. Interpretation of this apparent clustering of mutations in FGFR2 has been hampered by the absence of any complete FGFR2-mutation screen. We have now undertaken such a screen in 259 patients with craniosynostosis in whom mutations in other genes (e.g., FGFR1, FGFR3, and TWIST) had been excluded; part of this screen was a cohort-based study, enabling unbiased estimates of the mutation distribution to be obtained. Although the majority (61/62 in the cohort sample) of FGFR2 mutations localized to the IIIa and IIIc exons, we identified mutations in seven additional exons-including six distinct mutations of the tyrosine kinase region and a single mutation of the IgII domain. The majority of patients with atypical mutations had diagnoses of Pfeiffer syndrome or Crouzon syndrome. Overall, FGFR2 mutations were present in 9.8% of patients with craniosynostosis who were included in a prospectively ascertained sample, but no mutations were found in association with isolated fusion of the metopic or sagittal sutures. We conclude that the spectrum of FGFR2 mutations causing craniosynostosis is wider than previously recognized but that, nevertheless, the IgIIIa/IIIc region represents a genuine mutation hotspot.  (+info)

Twist haploinsufficiency in Saethre-Chotzen syndrome induces calvarial osteoblast apoptosis due to increased TNFalpha expression and caspase-2 activation. (24/135)

Saethre-Chotzen syndrome (SCS) is a human autosomal dominant disorder characterized by premature fusion of cranial sutures caused by mutations of the Twist gene encoding a basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factor. We previously showed that Twist haploinsufficiency caused by a Y103X nonsense mutation in SCS alters both proliferation and osteoblast gene expression in human calvarial osteoblasts, indicating that Twist is an important regulator of osteoblast differentiation. Here we show that Twist haploinsufficiency alters osteoblast apoptosis in SCS. Analysis of terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated nick-end labelling (TUNEL) demonstrated increased osteoblast and osteocyte apoptosis in coronal sutures from two SCS patients with nonsense mutations (Y103X and Q109X) that result in the synthesis of bHLH-truncated proteins, and one patient with a missense mutation in the basic domain (R118C) that abolishes Twist DNA binding. To assess the mechanisms involved, we studied osteoblast apoptosis in mutant (M-Tw) calvarial cells bearing the Y103X mutation resulting in decreased Twist mRNA and protein levels. M-Tw cells cultured in low serum conditions showed enhanced DNA fragmentation compared to normal (Nl) age-matched calvarial cells. Biochemical analysis showed increased activity of initiator caspases-2 and -8 and downstream effector caspases-3, -6 and -7 in mutant osteoblasts. Caspase-2 was upstream of caspase-8 and effector caspases-3, -6 and -7 because their activities were suppressed by a specific caspase-2 inhibitor. M-Tw osteoblasts also showed increased cytochrome c release from the mitochondria. However, the activity of the downstream effector caspase-9 was not increased due to overexpression of the antagonist protein Hsp70. Detection of differentially expressed genes using cDNA expression array revealed increased Bax and TNFalpha mRNA levels in M-Tw compared to Nl cells, a finding confirmed by RT-PCR and western blot analyses. Neutralization of TNFalpha overexpression using anti-TNFalpha or anti-TNF receptor 1 antibodies abolished the increased activity of caspase-2, caspase-8 and caspases-3, -6 and -7 in M-Tw osteoblasts. These studies provide novel evidence that Twist haploinsufficiency in SCS promotes osteoblast apoptosis by a TNFalpha-caspase-2-caspase-8-caspases-3, -6, -7 cascade, and uncover a molecular mechanism in which Twist plays an anti-apoptotic role in human calvarial osteoblasts.  (+info)