Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Eur J Cell Biol. 2001 Jul;80(7):479-85.

Coordinated regulation of procollagens I and III and their post-translational enzymes by dissipation of mechanical tension in human dermal fibroblasts.

Author information

  • 1Laboratory of Connective Tissues Biology, University of Liège, Belgium.


Mechanical tension governs fibroblast proliferation and survival and the homeostasis of the extracellular matrix to adapt its resistance to the mechanical requirements of the organs. To consolidate this view, we analysed the effect of tension release on the expression of molecules involved in the architecture and stabilisation of the collagen fibres, namely the procollagens type I and III, the amino- and carboxy-procollagen peptidases (N-pCP and C-pCP) and lysyl oxidase. Cells were cultured in conditions of high mechanical stress in monolayer on a collagen coat and under reduced tension by disruption of the cytoskeleton upon treatment with cytochalasin D in monolayer on a collagen coat or by integrin-mediated stress relaxation in a freely retracting collagen gel. The mRNAs were measured by quantitative RT-PCR monitored by simultaneous reverse-transcription and amplification of an original internal standard. Tension relaxation resulted in a decreased expression of the procollagens type I and III, of the two expressed forms of C-pCP, of the two forms of N-pCP and of lysyl oxidase. Type III collagen, known to control diameter of the fibres, was less down-regulated than type I collagen. Interestingly, the expression of the two alternatively spliced forms of the N-pCP was dissimilarly regulated. These data suggest that mechanical tension may modulate the stiffness of the extracellular matrix by controlling not only the level of expression of its fibrillar constituents but also that of the enzymes participating in their extracellular processing and mechanical stabilisation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk