TACE-dependent amphiregulin release is induced by IL-1β and promotes cell invasion in fibroblast-like synoviocytes in rheumatoid arthritis

Fei-Lan Liu, Cheng-Chi Wu, Deh-Ming Chang
Rheumatology 2014, 53 (2): 260-9

OBJECTIVES: The aims of this study were to investigate the expression of amphiregulin (AREG) and TNF-α-converting enzyme (TACE) in fibroblast-like synoviocytes from humans with RA (FLS-RA) when stimulated with proinflammatory cytokines and to explore whether AREG plays a role in RA.

METHODS: The effects of cytokines on the expression of AREG and TACE in FLS-RA were measured by quantitative RT-PCR and western blotting. Blockade of IL-1β-mediated pathways was used to verify the involvement of intracellular signal pathways in the induction of AREG and TACE. TAPI-1 and TACE short hairpin RNA (shRNA) infection were used to identify the role of TACE in IL-1β-induced AREG secretion and shedding. AREG-induced production of MMP-1 and cadherin-11 in FLS-RA were measured by ELISA or western blotting. The effect of AREG on FLS-RA invasion was examined using a Transwell invasion assay.

RESULTS: IL-1β, but not other tested cytokines, increased the expressions of AREG mRNA and protein in a dose-responsive and time-dependent manner in FLS-RA. IL-1β induced AREG expression via p38 MAPK, NF-κB, JNK and ERK1/2 signalling pathways and induced TACE expression via PI3K, p38MAPK and NF-κB signalling pathways in FLS-RA. TACE mediated AREG secretion and shedding. EGFR (ErbB1) and Her-2 (ErbB2) were expressed in FLS-RA, and AREG increased MMP-1 and cadherin-11 expression in FLS-RA. AREG promoted the FLS-RA invasion ability.

CONCLUSION: AREG and TACE expression were up-regulated by IL-1β and their activations on FLS-RA lead to the matrix degradation by inducing MMP-1 and cadherin-11 production. TACE activity is necessary for IL-1β-induced AREG release. Our results demonstrate that IL-1β-induced AREG release may be involved in the pathogenesis of RA.

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