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Cartilage. 2018 Oct 29:1947603518809403. doi: 10.1177/1947603518809403. [Epub ahead of print]

SERPINA9 and SERPINB2: Novel Cartilage Lineage Differentiation Markers of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells with Kartogenin.

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1 Tissue Engineering, Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine Research Unit, Instituto Nacional de Rehabilitación "Luis Guillermo Ibarra Ibarra", Mexico City, Mexico.
2 Centre for Craniofacial and Regenerative Biology, King's College London, Guy's Hospital, London, UK.
3 Fetal Medicine Mexico Foundation and Fetal Surgery Unit, Children and Women's Specialty Hospital of Queretaro, Queretaro, Mexico.
4 Computational Genomics Lab, Instituto Nacional de Medicina Genómica, Mexico City, México.
5 Synovioanalysis Molecular Laboratory, Instituto Nacional de Rehabilitación "Luis Guillermo Ibarra Ibarra", Mexico City, Mexico.
6 Hand Surgery and Microsurgery Department, Instituto Nacional de Rehabilitación "Luis Guillermo Ibarra Ibarra", Mexico City, Mexico.



Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) are a promising source for regenerative medicine, especially mesodermal lineages. Clinical applications require an understanding of the mechanisms for transcriptional control to maintain the desired cell type. The aim of this study was to identify novel markers for differentiation of hMSCs into bone or cartilage with the use of Kartogenin, by RNA analysis using microarray technology, and explore the role of RhoA-Rho associated protein kinase (ROCK) inhibition in these.


Commercial human bone marrow derived primary mesenchymal stem cells were purchased from ATCC. Cells were differentiated in vitro in 2-dimensional cultures using Kartogenin as the main cartilage inducer and bone morphogenetic protein 2 for bone differentiation; cells were cultured with and without ROCK inhibitor Y-27632. After 21 days of culture, whole RNA was extracted and analyzed via Affimetrix microarrays. The most significant hits were validated by quantitative polymerase chain reaction.


We found a total of 1,757 genes that were either up- or downregulated on differentiation, when compared to P1 hMSC (control) at day 0 of differentiation. Two members of the Serpin superfamily, SERPINA9 and SERPINB2, were significantly upregulated in the cartilage groups, whereas they were unchanged in the bone groups with and without ROCK inhibition.


SERPINA9 and SERPINB2 are novel differentiation markers, and molecular regulator candidates for hMSC lineage commitment toward bone and cartilage, providing a new tool for regenerative medicine. Our study highlights the roles of these 2 genes, with significant upregulation of both in cell cultures stimulated with Kartogenin.


SERPINA9; SERPINB2; chondrocytes; mesenchymal stem cells; osteoblasts


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