Inhibition of hypoxia-induced Mucin 1 alters the proteomic composition of human osteoblast-produced extracellular matrix, leading to reduced osteogenic and angiogenic potential

J Cell Physiol. 2022 Feb;237(2):1440-1454. doi: 10.1002/jcp.30617. Epub 2021 Oct 22.


The bone microenvironment is one of the most hypoxic regions of the human body and in experimental models; hypoxia inhibits osteogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs). Our previous work revealed that Mucin 1 (MUC1) was dynamically expressed during osteogenic differentiation of human MSCs and upregulated by hypoxia. Upon stimulation, its C-terminus (MUC1-CT) is proteolytically cleaved, translocases to the nucleus, and binds to promoters of target genes. Therefore, we assessed the MUC1-mediated effect of hypoxia on the proteomic composition of human osteoblast-derived extracellular matrices (ECMs) and characterized their osteogenic and angiogenic potentials in the produced ECMs. We generated ECMs from osteogenically differentiated human MSC cultured in vitro under 20% or 2% oxygen with or without GO-201, a MUC1-CT inhibitor. Hypoxia upregulated MUC1, vascular endothelial growth factor, and connective tissue growth factor independent of MUC1 inhibition, whereas GO-201 stabilized hypoxia-inducible factor 1-alpha. Hypoxia and/or MUC1-CT inhibition reduced osteogenic differentiation of human MSC by AMP-activated protein kinase/mTORC1/S6K pathway and dampened their matrix mineralization. Hypoxia modulated ECMs by transforming growth factor-beta/Smad and phosphorylation of NFκB and upregulated COL1A1, COL5A1, and COL5A3. The ECMs of hypoxic osteoblasts reduced MSC proliferation and accelerated their osteogenic differentiation, whereas MUC1-CT-inhibited ECMs counteracted these effects. In addition, ECMs generated under MUC1-CT inhibition reduced the angiogenic potential independent of oxygen concentration. We claim here that MUC1 is critical for hypoxia-mediated changes during osteoblastogenesis, which not only alters the proteomic landscape of the ECM but thereby also modulates its osteogenic and angiogenic potentials.

Keywords: angiogenesis; extracellular matrix; human osteoblasts; hypoxia; mucin-1.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Differentiation
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia / metabolism
  • Mucin-1 / metabolism*
  • Osteoblasts / metabolism
  • Osteogenesis*
  • Oxygen / metabolism
  • Proteomics*
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / metabolism


  • MUC1 protein, human
  • Mucin-1
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Oxygen