Redox-active endosomes mediate α5β1 integrin signaling and promote chondrocyte matrix metalloproteinase production in osteoarthritis

Michael Z. Miao, Qian Peter Su, Yang Cui, Edward M. Bahnson, Gang Li, Menglin Wang, Yuchen Yang, John A. Collins, Di Wu, Qisheng Gu, Susan Chubinskaya, Brian O. Diekman, Kenneth M. Yamada, Richard F. Loeser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mechanical cues sensed by integrins induce cells to produce proteases to remodel the extracellular matrix. Excessive protease production occurs in many degenerative diseases, including osteoarthritis, in which articular cartilage degradation is associated with the genesis of matrix protein fragments that can activate integrins. We investigated the mechanisms by which integrin signals may promote protease production in response to matrix changes in osteoarthritis. Using a fragment of the matrix protein fibronectin (FN) to activate the α5β1 integrin in primary human chondrocytes, we found that endocytosis of the integrin and FN fragment complex drove the production of the matrix metalloproteinase MMP-13. Activation of α5β1 by the FN fragment, but not by intact FN, was accompanied by reactive oxygen species (ROS) production initially at the cell surface, then in early endosomes. These ROS-producing endosomes (called redoxosomes) contained the integrin-FN fragment complex, the ROS-producing enzyme NADPH oxidase 2 (NOX2), and SRC, a redox-regulated kinase that promotes MMP-13 production. In contrast, intact FN was endocytosed and trafficked to recycling endosomes without inducing ROS production. Articular cartilage from patients with osteoarthritis showed increased amounts of SRC and the NOX2 complex component p67phox. Furthermore, we observed enhanced localization of SRC and p67phox at early endosomes, suggesting that redoxosomes could transmit and sustain integrin signaling in response to matrix damage. This signaling mechanism not only amplifies the production of matrix-degrading proteases but also establishes a self-perpetuating cycle that contributes to the ongoing degradation of cartilage matrix in osteoarthritis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbereadf8299
JournalScience Signaling
Issue number809
StatePublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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