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Exp Cell Res. 2000 Feb 1;254(2):210-20.

Regulation of LPA-promoted myofibroblast contraction: role of Rho, myosin light chain kinase, and myosin light chain phosphatase.

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Department of Cell Biology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73104, USA.


Myofibroblasts generate the contractile force responsible for wound healing and pathological tissue contracture. In this paper the stress-relaxed collagen lattice model was used to study lysophosphatidic acid (LPA)-promoted myofibroblast contraction and the role of the small GTPase Rho and its downstream targets Rho kinase and myosin light chain phosphatase (MLCPPase) in regulating myofibroblast contraction. In addition, the regulation of myofibroblast contraction was compared with that of smooth muscle cells. LPA-promoted myofibroblast contraction was inhibited by the myosin light chain kinase (MLCK) inhibitors KT5926 and ML-7; however, in contrast to that observed in smooth muscle cells, elevation of intracellular calcium alone was not sufficient to promote myofibroblast contraction. These results suggest that Ca(2+)-mediated activation of MLCK, while necessary, is not sufficient to promote myofibroblast contraction. The specific Rho inactivator C3-transferase and the Rho kinase inhibitor Y-27632 inhibited LPA-promoted myofibroblast contraction, suggesting that contraction depends on activation of the Rho/Rho kinase pathway. Calyculin, a type 1 phosphatase inhibitor known to inhibit MLCPPase, could promote myofibroblast contraction in the absence of LPA, as well as restore contraction in the presence of C3-transferase or Y-27632. Together these results support a model whereby Rho/Rho kinase-mediated inhibition of MLCPPase is necessary for LPA-promoted myofibroblast contraction, in contrast to smooth muscle cells in which Ca(2+) activation of MLCK alone is sufficient to promote contraction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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