Transcriptome-based screening of ion channels and transporters in a migratory chondroprogenitor cell line isolated from late-stage osteoarthritic cartilage

Csaba Matta, Rebecca Lewis, Christopher Fellows, Gyula Diszhazi, Janos Almassy, Nicolai Miosge, James Dixon, Marcos C. Uribe, Sean May, Szilard Poliska, Richard Barrett-Jolley, Janos Fodor, Peter Szentesi, Tibor Hajdú, Aniko Keller-Pinter, Erin Henslee, Fatima H. Labeed, Michael P. Hughes, Ali Mobasheri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Chondrogenic progenitor cells (CPCs) may be used as an alternative source of cells with potentially superior chondrogenic potential compared to mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), and could be exploited for future regenerative therapies targeting articular cartilage in degenerative diseases such as osteoarthritis (OA). In this study, we hypothesised that CPCs derived from OA cartilage may be characterised by a distinct channelome. First, a global transcriptomic analysis using Affymetrix microarrays was performed. We studied the profiles of those ion channels and transporter families that may be relevant to chondroprogenitor cell physiology. Following validation of the microarray data with quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, we examined the role of calcium-dependent potassium channels in CPCs and observed functional large-conductance calcium-activated potassium (BK) channels involved in the maintenance of the chondroprogenitor phenotype. In line with our very recent results, we found that the KCNMA1 gene was upregulated in CPCs and observed currents that could be attributed to the BK channel. The BK channel inhibitor paxilline significantly inhibited proliferation, increased the expression of the osteogenic transcription factor RUNX2, enhanced the migration parameters, and completely abolished spontaneous Ca2+ events in CPCs. Through characterisation of their channelome we demonstrate that CPCs are a distinct cell population but are highly similar to MSCs in many respects. This study adds key mechanistic data to the in-depth characterisation of CPCs and their phenotype in the context of cartilage regeneration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7421-7439
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • cartilage
  • channelome
  • chondrocyte
  • chondroprogenitor
  • mesenchymal stem cell
  • osteoarthritis
  • transcriptomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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