Blockade of translationally controlled tumor protein attenuated the aggressiveness of fibroblast-like synoviocytes and ameliorated collagen-induced arthritis

Mingyo Kim, Yongho Choe, Heewon Lee, Min Gyu Jeon, Jin Ho Park, Hae Sook Noh, Yun Hong Cheon, Hee Jin Park, Jaehun Park, Sung Jae Shin, Kyunglim Lee, Sang Il Lee

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11 Scopus citations


Histamine releasing factor/translationally controlled tumor protein (HRF/TCTP) stimulates cancer progression and allergic responses, but the role of HRF/TCTP in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) remains undefined. In this study, we explored the pathogenic significance of HRF/TCTP and evaluated the therapeutic effects of HRF/TCTP blockade in RA. HRF/TCTP transgenic (TG) and knockdown (KD) mice with collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) were used to determine the experimental phenotypes of RA. HRF/TCTP levels in the sera of RA patients were measured and compared to those from patients with osteoarthritis (OA), ankylosing spondylitis, Behçet’s disease, and healthy controls. HRF/TCTP expression was also assessed in the synovium and fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLSs) obtained from RA or OA patients. Finally, we assessed the effects of HRF/TCTP and dimerized HRF/TCTP-binding peptide-2 (dTBP2), an HRF/TCTP inhibitor, in RA-FLSs and CIA mice. Our clinical, radiological, histological, and biochemical analyses indicate that inflammatory responses and joint destruction were increased in HRF/TCTP TG mice and decreased in KD mice compared to wild-type littermates. HRF/TCTP levels in the sera, synovial fluid, synovium, and FLSs were higher in patients with RA than in control groups. Serum levels of HRF/TCTP correlated well with RA disease activity. The tumor-like aggressiveness of RA-FLSs was exacerbated by HRF/TCTP stimulation and ameliorated by dTBP2 treatment. dTBP2 exerted protective and therapeutic effects in CIA mice and had no detrimental effects in a murine tuberculosis model. Our results indicate that HRF/TCTP is a novel biomarker and therapeutic target for the diagnosis and treatment of RA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-80
Number of pages14
JournalExperimental and Molecular Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the members of the Innovation Research Laboratory for Rheumatology at the Gyeongsang National University Hospital of Korea for their assistance and discussion. This work was supported by grants from the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI) funded by the Ministry of Health & Welfare ( (HI17C0631) and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) ( funded by the Korean government (NRF-2015R1A5A2008833).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).


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