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J Cell Biochem. 2009 May 15;107(2):335-44. doi: 10.1002/jcb.22130.

Suppression of PAI-1 expression through inhibition of the EGFR-mediated signaling cascade in rat kidney fibroblast by ascofuranone.

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Department of Medicine, Catholic University of Daegu School of Medicine, Korea.


Fibrosis in glomerulosclerosis causes progressive loss of renal function. Transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta, one of the major profibrotic cytokines, induces the synthesis of plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI)-1, a factor that plays a crucial role in the development of fibrosis. Here, we found that an isoprenoid antibiotic, ascofuranone, suppresses expression of profibrotic factors including matrix proteins and PAI-1 induced by TGF-beta in renal fibroblasts. Ascofuranone selectively inhibits phosphorylation of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), and downstream kinases such as Raf-1, MEK-1/2, and ERK-1/2. PAI-1 transcription also is suppressed by treatment with kinase inhibitors for MEK-1/2 or EGFR, and with small interfering RNA for EGFR. Ascofuranone inhibits cellular metalloproteinase activity, and an inhibitor of metalloproteinases suppresses EGFR phosphorylation and PAI-1 transcription. These results suggest that ascofuranone suppresses expression of profibrotic factors through the inhibition of an EGFR-dependent signal transduction pathway activated by metalloproteinases.

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