Cellular senescence is a driver of various aging-associated disorders, including osteoarthritis. Here, we identified a critical role for Yes-associated protein (YAP), a major effector of Hippo signaling, in maintaining a younger state of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) and ameliorating osteoarthritis in mice. Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)/CRISPR associated protein 9 nuclease (Cas9)-mediated knockout (KO) of YAP in hMSCs resulted in premature cellular senescence. Mechanistically, YAP cooperated with TEA domain transcriptional factor (TEAD) to activate the expression of forkhead box D1 (FOXD1), a geroprotective protein. YAP deficiency led to the down-regulation of FOXD1. In turn, overexpression of YAP or FOXD1 rejuvenated aged hMSCs. Moreover, intra-articular administration of lentiviral vector encoding YAP or FOXD1 attenuated the development of osteoarthritis in mice. Collectively, our findings reveal YAP-FOXD1, a novel aging-associated regulatory axis, as a potential target for gene therapy to alleviate osteoarthritis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)