Nonmineralized and mineralized collagen scaffolds induce differential osteogenic signaling pathways in human mesenchymal stem cells

Qi Zhou, Xiaoyan Ren, David Bischoff, Daniel W. Weisgerber, Dean T. Yamaguchi, Timothy A. Miller, Brendan A.C. Harley, Justine C. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The instructive capabilities of extracellular matrix components in progenitor cell differentiation have recently generated significant interest in the development of bioinspired materials for regenerative applications. Previously, a correlation was described between the osteogenic capabilities of nanoparticulate mineralized collagen glycosaminoglycan scaffolds (MC-GAG) and an autogenous activation of small mothers against decapentaplegic (Smad1/5) in the canonical bone morpho-genetic protein receptor (BMPR) pathway with a diminished extracellular signal regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) activation when compared to nonmineralized collagen glycosaminoglycan scaffolds (Col-GAG). This work utilizes a canonical BMPR inhibitor (dorsomorphin homologue 1, DMH1) and an inhibitor of the mitogen activated protein kinase/ERK kinase (MEK)/(ERK) cascade (PD98059) to characterize the necessity of each pathway for osteogenesis. While DMH1 inhibits runt-related transcription factor 2 (Runx2) and bone sialoprotein II (BSPII) gene expression of primary human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) on MC-GAG, PD98059 inhibits BSPII expression on Col-GAG independent of Runx2 expression. DMH1 inhibits mineralization on both Col-GAG and MC-GAG, however, PD98059 only inhibits mineralization on Col-GAG. DMH1 inhibits both Smad1/5 phosphorylation and Runx2 protein expression, whereas PD98059 inhibits ERK1/2 and c-Jun amino-terminal kinase 1/2 (JNK1/2) phosphorylation without affecting Runx2. Thus, activation of the canonical BMPR signaling is necessary for osteogenic differentiation and mineralization of hMSCs on Col-GAG or MC-GAG. The MEK/ERK cascade, intimately tied to JNK activation, is necessary for Runx2-independent osteogenesis on Col-GAG, while completely dispensable in osteogenesis on MC-GAG.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1700641
JournalAdvanced Healthcare Materials
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 6 2017


  • Bone regeneration
  • Nanoparticulate mineralized collagen glycosaminoglycan scaffold

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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