Role of Activator Protein-1 Complex on the Phenotype of Human Osteosarcomas Generated from Mesenchymal Stem Cells

Stem Cells. 2018 Oct;36(10):1487-1500. doi: 10.1002/stem.2869. Epub 2018 Aug 11.


Osteosarcoma (OS) is a highly aggressive bone tumor that usually arises intramedullary at the extremities of long bones. Due to the fact that the peak of incidence is in the growth spurt of adolescence, the specific anatomical location, and the heterogeneity of cells, it is believed that osteosarcomagenesis is a process associated with bone development. Different studies in murine models showed that the tumor-initiating cell in OS could be an uncommitted mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) developing in a specific bone microenvironment. However, only a few studies have reported transgene-induced human MSCs transformation and mostly obtained undifferentiated sarcomas. In our study, we demonstrate that activator protein 1 family members induce osteosarcomagenesis in immortalized hMSC. c-JUN or c-JUN/c-FOS overexpression act as tumorigenic factors generating OS with fibroblastic or pleomorphic osteoblastic phenotypes, respectively. Stem Cells 2018;36:1487-1500.

Keywords: Mesenchymal stem cells; Osteosarcoma; Rbc-JUN; c-FOS; p53.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Bone Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Heterografts
  • Humans
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / pathology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, SCID
  • Osteosarcoma / metabolism*
  • Osteosarcoma / pathology*
  • Phenotype
  • Transcription Factor AP-1 / metabolism*


  • Transcription Factor AP-1