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Biology 2013, 2(2), 555-586; doi:10.3390/biology2020555

Dynamic Interplay of Smooth Muscle α-Actin Gene-Regulatory Proteins Reflects the Biological Complexity of Myofibroblast Differentiation

Department of Physiology & Cell Biology and the Ohio State Biochemistry Program, the Dorothy M. Davis Heart & Lung Research Institute, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
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Received: 25 January 2013 / Revised: 1 March 2013 / Accepted: 6 March 2013 / Published: 28 March 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gene Expression and Regulation)
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Abstract

Myofibroblasts (MFBs) are smooth muscle-like cells that provide contractile force required for tissue repair during wound healing. The leading agonist for MFB differentiation is transforming growth factor β1 (TGFβ1) that induces transcription of genes encoding smooth muscle α-actin (SMαA) and interstitial collagen that are markers for MFB differentiation. TGFβ1 augments activation of Smad transcription factors, pro-survival Akt kinase, and p38 MAP kinase as well as Wingless/int (Wnt) developmental signaling. These actions conspire to activate β-catenin needed for expression of cyclin D, laminin, fibronectin, and metalloproteinases that aid in repairing epithelial cells and their associated basement membranes. Importantly, β-catenin also provides a feed-forward stimulus that amplifies local TGFβ1 autocrine/paracrine signaling causing transition of mesenchymal stromal cells, pericytes, and epithelial cells into contractile MFBs. Complex, mutually interactive mechanisms have evolved that permit several mammalian cell types to activate the SMαA promoter and undergo MFB differentiation. These molecular controls will be reviewed with an emphasis on the dynamic interplay between serum response factor, TGFβ1-activated Smads, Wnt-activated β-catenin, p38/calcium-activated NFAT protein, and the RNA-binding proteins, Purα, Purβ, and YB-1, in governing transcriptional and translational control of the SMαA gene in injury-activated MFBs. View Full-Text
Keywords: Myofibroblast; gene transcription; smooth muscle actin; wound healing; fibrosis Myofibroblast; gene transcription; smooth muscle actin; wound healing; fibrosis
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Strauch, A.R.; Hariharan, S. Dynamic Interplay of Smooth Muscle α-Actin Gene-Regulatory Proteins Reflects the Biological Complexity of Myofibroblast Differentiation. Biology 2013, 2, 555-586.

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