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Knockdown of subunit 3 of the COP9 signalosome inhibits C2C12 myoblast differentiation via NF-KappaB signaling pathway
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The COP9 signalosome (CSN) is a conserved protein complex composed of 8 subunits designated CSN1-CSN8. CSN3 represents the third subunit of the CSN and maintains the integrity of the complex. CSN3 binds to the striated muscle-specific beta 1D integrin tail, and its subcellular localization is altered in differentiated skeletal muscle cells. However, the role of CSN3 in skeletal muscle differentiation is unknown. The main goal of this study was to identify whether CSN3 participates in myoblast differentiation and the signalling mechanisms involved using C2C12 cells as a skeletal muscle cell model. Methods: Small-hairpin (shRNA) was used to knockdown CSN3 in C2C12 cells. Differentiation was evaluated by immunostaining and confocal microscopy. Markers of differentiation, NF-kappa B signaling and CSN subunits expression, were assessed by immunoblotting and/or immunostaining. Cell proliferation was analysed by cell counting, flow cytometry and a 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. Data were analyzed by one or two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) followed by post-hoc testing. Results: Transduction of C2C12 cells with two distinct CSN3 shRNAs led to the production of two cells lines expressing 7% of CSN3 protein (shCSN3-Low) and 43% of CSN3 protein (CSN3-Med) compared to controls. Knockdown of CSN3 was accompanied by destabilization of several CSN subunits and increased nuclear NF-kappa B localization. shCSN3-Med cells expressed less myogenin and formed shorter and thinner myotubes. In contrast, the shCSN3-Low cells expressed higher levels of myogenin prior and during the differentiation and remained mononucleated throughout the differentiation period. Both CSN3 knockdown cell lines failed to express sarcomeric myosin heavy chain (MHC) protein during differentiation. The fusion index was significantly higher in control cells than in shCSN3-Med cells, whereas shCSN3-Low cells showed no cell fusion. Interestingly, CSN3 knockdown cells exhibited a significantly slower growth rate relative to the control cells. Cell cycle analysis revealed that CSN3 knockdowns delayed in S phase and had increased levels of nuclear p21/Cip1 and p27/Kip1. Conclusions: This study clarifies the first step toward unrevealing the CSN3/CSN-mediated pathways that controls C2C12 differentiation and proliferation. Further in vivo characterization of CSN/CSN3 may lead to the discovery of novel therapeutic target of skeletal muscle diseases such as muscular dystrophies.