Pigment Epithelium-Derived Factor: Inhibition of Phosphorylation of Insulin Receptor (IR)/IR Substrate (IRS), Osteogeneration from Adipocytes, and Increased Levels Due to Doxorubicin Exposure

Isobel C. Jones, Revathy Carnagarin, Jo Armstrong, Daphne P.L. Lin, Mia Baxter-Holland, Mina Elahy, Crispin R. Dass

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Objectives: Pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF) has been recently linked to insulin resistance and is capable of differentiating myocytes to bone. We examined in more detail the intricate signalling of the insulin pathway influenced by PEDF in skeletal myocytes. We tested whether this serpin is also capable of generating de novo bone from adipocytes in vitro and in vivo, and how the anticancer drug doxorubicin links with PEDF and cellular metabolism. Methods and key findings: We demonstrate that PEDF can inhibit phosphorylation of insulin receptor (IR) and insulin receptor substrate (IRS) in skeletal myocytes. PEDF constitutively activates p42/44 MAPK/Erk, but paradoxically does not affect mitogenic signalling. PEDF did not perturb either mitochondrial activity or proliferation in cells representing mesenchymal stem cells, cardiomyocytes, and skeletal myocytes and adipocytes. PEDF induced transdifferentiation of adipocytes to osteoblasts, promoting bone formation in cultured adipocytes in vitro and gelfoam fatpad implants in vivo. Bone formation in white adipose tissue (WAT) was better than in brown adipose tissue (BAT). The frontline anticancer drug doxorubicin increased levels of PEDF in a human breast cancer cell line, mirroring the in vivo finding where cardiac muscle tissue was stained increasingly for PEDF as the dose of doxorubicin increased in mice. PEDF also increased levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and glutathione (GSH) in the breast cancer cell line. Conclusions: PEDF may be used to regenerate bone from adipose tissue in cases of trauma such as fractures or bone cancers. The increased presence of PEDF in doxorubicin-treated tumour cells need further exploration, and could be useful therapeutically in future. The safety of PEDF administration in vivo was further demonstrated in this study.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1960
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023

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