Wang S, Duan C, Zhang F, Wang X, Guo X
BCL2-antagonist/killer 1 (BAK1) and apoptotic peptidase activating factor 1 (APAF1) are significant genes in apoptosis signalling pathway of Kashin-Beck disease (KBD). We aimed to verify the protein expression levels of BAK1 and APAF1 in the cartilage and chondrocytes of patients with KBD. Additionally, we explored the relationship between the levels of these proteins and selenium concentration. Chondrocytes was cultured and treated with sodium selenite in vitro. Immunohistochemistry and Western blotting were used to verify the expression levels of BAK1 and APAF1. Compared with the control samples, APAF1 was upregulated and BAK1 was downregulated in the cartilage and chondrocytes of KBD patients. APAF1 expression was higher in the middle and deep zone in the KBD cartilage. APAF1 levels decreased gradually with the increasing selenium concentration (0.05, 0.10 and 0.25 mg/L). BAK1 expression in the 0.25 mg/L selenium group was lower than that of the control group. Different selenium concentrations had varying effects on BAK1 and APAF1 levels. APAF1 may play an important role in the pathogenesis of KBD. APAF1-related apoptosis was more pronounced in the middle and deep zones of the KBD cartilage. APAF may represent a potentially novel molecular target, which may be a biomarker of the role of selenium on the prevention and treatment of KBD. The role of BAK1 in the pathogenesis of KBD requires further study.