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Mol Cell Biol. 2009 Nov;29(22):6006-17. doi: 10.1128/MCB.01921-08. Epub 2009 Sep 14.

Nuclear factor I-C links platelet-derived growth factor and transforming growth factor beta1 signaling to skin wound healing progression.

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Institute of Biotechnology, University of Lausanne, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland.


Transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) and platelet-derived growth factor A (PDGFAlpha) play a central role in tissue morphogenesis and repair, but their interplay remain poorly understood. The nuclear factor I C (NFI-C) transcription factor has been implicated in TGF-beta signaling, extracellular matrix deposition, and skin appendage pathologies, but a potential role in skin morphogenesis or healing had not been assessed. To evaluate this possibility, we performed a global gene expression analysis in NFI-C(-/-) and wild-type embryonic primary murine fibroblasts. This indicated that NFI-C acts mostly to repress gene expression in response to TGF-beta1. Misregulated genes were prominently overrepresented by regulators of connective tissue inflammation and repair. In vivo skin healing revealed a faster inflammatory stage and wound closure in NFI-C(-/-) mice. Expression of PDGFA and PDGF-receptor alpha were increased in wounds of NFI-C(-/-) mice, explaining the early recruitment of macrophages and fibroblasts. Differentiation of fibroblasts to contractile myofibroblasts was also elevated, providing a rationale for faster wound closure. Taken together with the role of TGF-beta in myofibroblast differentiation, our results imply a central role of NFI-C in the interplay of the two signaling pathways and in regulation of the progression of tissue regeneration.

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