ANP32A represses Wnt signaling across tissues thereby protecting against osteoarthritis and heart disease| Osteoarthritis Cartilage | 2022 Feb 25:S1063-4584(22)00650-1 | doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2022.02.615

Monteagudo S, Cornelis FMF, Wang X, de Roover A, Peeters T, Quintiens J, Sermon A, de Almeida RC, Meulenbelt I, Lories RJ



To investigate how ANP32A, previously linked to the antioxidant response, regulates Wnt signaling as unraveled by transcriptome analysis of Anp32a-deficient mouse articular cartilage, and its implications for osteoarthritis (OA) and diseases beyond the joint.


Anp32a knockdown chondrogenic ATDC5 cells were cultured in micromasses. Wnt target genes, differentiation markers and matrix deposition were quantified. Wnt target genes were determined in articular cartilage from Anp32a-deficient mice and primary human articular chondrocytes upon ANP32A silencing, using qPCR, luciferase assays and immunohistochemistry. Co-immunoprecipitation, immunofluorescence and chromatin-immunoprecipitation quantitative PCR probed the molecular mechanism via which ANP32A regulates Wnt signaling. Anp32a-deficient mice were subjected to the destabilization of the medial meniscus (DMM) OA model and treated with a Wnt inhibitor and an antioxidant. Severity of OA was assessed by cartilage damage and osteophyte formation. Human Protein Atlas data analysis identified additional organs where ANP32A may regulate Wnt signaling. Wnt target genes were determined in heart and hippocampus from Anp32a-deficient mice, and cardiac hypertrophy and fibrosis quantified.


Anp32a loss triggered Wnt signaling hyper-activation in articular cartilage. Mechanistically, ANP32A inhibited target gene expression via histone acetylation masking. Wnt antagonist treatment reduced OA severity in Anp32a-deficient mice by preventing osteophyte formation but not cartilage degradation, contrasting with antioxidant treatment. Dual therapy ameliorated more OA features than individual treatments. Anp32a-deficient mice also showed Wnt hyper-activation in the heart, potentially explaining the cardiac hypertrophy phenotype found.


ANP32A is a novel translationally relevant repressor of Wnt signaling impacting osteoarthritis and cardiac disease.


ANP32A; Wnt signaling; Histone acetylation; Articular cartilage; Cardiac hypertrophy