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Molecular mechanism and therapeutic potential of HDAC9 in intervertebral disc degeneration

Cell Mol Biol Lett. 2023 Dec 13;28(1):104. doi: 10.1186/s11658-023-00517-x.


BACKGROUND: Intervertebral disc degeneration (IVDD) is the major cause of low-back pain. Histone deacetylase 9 (HDAC9) was dramatically decreased in the degenerative nucleus pulposus (NP) samples of patients with intervertebral disc degeneration (IVDD) according to bioinformatics analysis of Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) GSE56081 dataset. This study aims to investigate the role of HDAC9 in IVDD progression.

METHODS: The contribution of HDAC9 to the progression of IVDD was assessed using HDAC9 knockout (HDAC9KO) mice and NP-targeted HDAC9-overexpressing mice by IVD injection of adenovirus-mediated HDAC9 under a Col2a1 promoter. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and histological analysis were used to examine the degeneration of IVD. NP cells were isolated from mice to investigate the effects of HDAC9 on apoptosis and viability. mRNA-seq and coimmunoprecipitation/mass spectrometry (co-IP/MS) analysis were used to analyze the HDAC9-regulated factors in the primary cultured NP cells.

RESULTS: HDAC9 was statistically decreased in the NP tissues in aged mice. HDAC9KO mice spontaneously developed age-related IVDD compared with wild-type (HDAC9WT) mice. In addition, overexpression of HDAC9 in NP cells alleviated IVDD symptoms in a surgically-induced IVDD mouse model. In an in vitro assay, knockdown of HDAC9 inhibited cell viability and promoted cell apoptosis of NP cells, and HDAC9 overexpression had the opposite effects in NP cells isolated from HDAC9KO mice. Results of mRNA-seq and co-IP/MS analysis revealed the possible proteins and signaling pathways regulated by HDAC9 in NP cells. RUNX family transcription factor 3 (RUNX3) was screened out for further study, and RUNX3 was found to be deacetylated and stabilized by HDAC9. Knockdown of RUNX3 restored the effects of HDAC9 silencing on NP cells by inhibiting apoptosis and increasing viability.

CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that HDAC9 plays an important role in the development and progression of IVDD. It might be required to protect NP cells against the loss of cell viability and apoptosis by inhibiting RUNX3 acetylation and expression during IVDD. Together, our findings suggest that HDAC9 may be a potential therapeutic target in IVDD.

PMID:38093179 | DOI:10.1186/s11658-023-00517-x

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