During skeletal development, limb progenitors become specified as chondrocytes and subsequently differentiate into specialized cartilage compartments. We previously showed that the arginine dimethyl transferase, PRMT5, is essential for regulating the specification of progenitor cells into chondrocytes within early limb buds. Here, we report that PRMT5 regulates the survival of a separate progenitor domain that gives rise to the patella. Independent of its role in knee development, PRMT5 regulates several distinct types of chondrocyte differentiation within the long bones. Chondrocytes lacking PRMT5 have a striking blockage in hypertrophic chondrocyte differentiation and are marked by abnormal gene expression. PRMT5 remains important for articular cartilage and hypertrophic cell identity during adult stages, indicating an ongoing role in homeostasis of these tissues. We conclude that PRMT5 is required for distinct steps of early and late chondrogenic specialization and is thus a critical component of multiple aspects of long bone development and maintenance.
Keywords: Articular cartilage; Chondrocyte differentiation; Chondrogenesis; Growth plate; Homeostasis; Joint; Knee; PRMT5; Patella; Progenitors.
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