Overexpression of spermidine/spermine N1-acetyltransferase impairs osteoblastogenesis and alters mouse bone phenotype

Sini Pirnes-Karhu, Jorma Määttä, Mikko Finnilä, Leena Alhonen, Anne Uimari
Transgenic Research 2015, 24 (2): 253-65
Spermidine/spermine N (1)-acetyltransferase (SSAT) is a catabolic regulator of polyamines, ubiquitous molecules essential for cell proliferation and differentiation. In pathological conditions, the increased polyamine catabolism has been shown to mediate its cellular functions not only by changed polyamine levels but also by the availability of metabolites shared with other metabolic pathways or by production of toxic compounds. Our previous results showed that mice overexpressing SSAT (SSAT mice) developed a myeloproliferative disease and the bone marrow microenvironment partly contributed to its development. In this study, the physiological role of SSAT and polyamines in bone remodeling was characterized. Skeletal development of the SSAT mice appeared outwardly similar to wild-type mice until maturity, after which the SSAT mice developed kyphosis. With aging, the SSAT overexpression elicited increased bone perimeter with strikingly thinned cortical bone, decreased trabecular thickness and increased trabecular number in mice. In vitro studies showed that the maturation of SSAT overexpressing osteoblasts was impaired and the expression of bone formation marker genes was dramatically decreased. The polyamine pattern in osteoblasts of SSAT mice was distorted in comparison with wild-type mice. However, treatment of osteoblasts with a SSAT-inducing functional polyamine analogue suggested that defective osteoblastogenesis resulted rather from other consequences of enhanced SSAT activity than lowered levels of the higher polyamines. In comparison to SSAT overexpressing mice, SSAT deficiency led to opposite changes in osteoblastogenesis and differences in bone phenotype in mice. In conclusion, the level of SSAT enzyme activity affected osteoblastogenesis and hence influenced bone remodeling and the bone phenotype in mice. Furthermore, our results suggest the contribution of the catabolic part of the polyamine cycle, other than polyamine depletion, in pathophysiological processes of bone remodeling.

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