• Fluid Shear Stress Induced Sclerostin Degradation and CaMKII Activation in Osteocytes.

      Gould, Nicole R; Leser, Jenna M; Torre, Olivia M; Khairallah, Ramzi J; Ward, Christopher W; Stains, Joseph P (Bio-protocol LLC, 2021-12-05)
      Bone is a dynamic tissue that adapts to changes in its mechanical environment. Mechanical stimuli pressurize interstitial fluid in the lacunar-canalicular system within the bone matrix, causing fluid shear stress (FSS) across bone embedded, mechano-sensitive osteocytes. Therefore, modeling this mechanical stimulus in vitro is vital for identifying mechano-transduction cascades that contribute to the regulation of mechano-responsive proteins, such as the Wnt/β-catenin antagonist, sclerostin, which is reduced in response to FSS. Recently, we reported the rapid post-translational degradation of sclerostin protein in bone cells following FSS. Given the fundamental nature of sclerostin to bone physiology and the nuances of studying its rapid post-translational control, here, we detail our FSS protocol, and adaptations that can be made, to stimulate Ocy454 osteocyte-like cells to study sclerostin protein in vitro. While this protocol is optimized for detecting sclerostin degradation by western blot, this protocol can be adapted to examine transcriptional changes with RT-qPCR, cellular dynamics with live cell imaging, or secreted factors in the FSS buffer. This protocol utilizes 3D-printed FSS tips that are compatible with commercially available 96-well plates, allowing for high experimental accessibility, versatility, and throughput. However, this protocol can be adapted for any FSS chamber. It can also be combined with pharmacological inhibitors or genetic manipulations to interrogate the role of specific cellular components. In all, this experimental set-up and protocol is highly adaptable to allow for many experimental outcomes to examine many aspects of cell mechano-transduction.