The intracellular signaling events controlling human mesenchymal stem cell (hMSC) differentiation into osteoblasts are poorly understood. Collagen-binding domain is considered an essential component of bone mineralization. In the present study, we investigated the regulatory mechanism of osteoblastic differentiation of hMSC by the peptide with a novel collagen-binding motif derived from osteopontin. The peptide induced influx of extracellular Ca2+ via calcium channels and increased intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) independent of both pertussis toxin and phospholipase C, and activated ERK, which was inhibited by Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase (CaMKII) antagonist, KN93. The peptide-induced increase of [Ca2+]i is correlated with ERK activation in a various cell types. The peptide stimulated the migration of hMSC but suppressed cell proliferation. Furthermore, the peptide increased the phosphorylation of cAMP-response element-binding protein, leading to a significant increase in the transactivation of cAMP-response element and serum response element. Ultimately, the peptide increased AP-1 transactivation, c-jun expression, and bone mineralization, which are suppressed by KN93. Taken together, these results indicate that the novel collagen-binding peptide promotes osteogenic differentiation via Ca2+/CaMKII/ERK/AP-1 signaling pathway in hMSC, suggesting the potential application in cell therapy for bone regeneration.
- Collagen-binding peptide
- Mesenchymal stem cells