Mechanotransductive Mechanisms of Biomimetic Hydrogel Cues Modulating Meckel's Cartilage Degeneration

Mahmoud Farahat, Emilio S. Hara, Risa Anada, Gulsan A.S. Kazi, Nahid M. Akhter, Takuya Matsumoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Meckel's cartilage, a cartilage rod present in the mandible during developmental stages, shows a unique developmental fate: while the anterior and posterior portions undergo ossification, the middle part degenerates. Previously, it was shown that a stiff environment promoted cartilage degeneration in the middle region, while a soft environment enhanced the mineralization in the anterior region of Meckel's cartilage. This study aims to elucidate the spatio-temporal changes in the mechanosensing properties of Meckel's cartilage during its early developmental stages and clarify the mechanotransduction-related mechanisms involved in its degeneration. The results show that the expression of Hippo pathway effector yes-associated protein (YAP) is only detectable in the Meckel's cartilage onward embryonic day (E)14.5, indicating that mechanosensing is dependent on the tissue developmental stage. Consistently, microenvironmental stiffness-induced cartilage degeneration can only be induced in cartilages onward E14.5, but not in those at earlier developmental stages. Expressions of integrin-β1 and cartilage matrix-degrading enzymes, matrix metalloproteinase 1 (MMP-1) and MMP-13, are significantly enhanced in the degeneration area. Moreover, verteporfin (YAP inhibitor) and integrin-β1 antibody block the substrate stiffness-induced degeneration by suppressing the expressions of MMP-1 and MMP-13. These data provide new insights into the interplay between biochemical and mechanical cues determining the fate of Meckel's cartilage.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAdvanced Biology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


  • biomimetic hydrogel
  • cartilage degeneration
  • integrin
  • mechanotransduction
  • Meckel's cartilage
  • yes-associated protein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials


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