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J Biol Chem. 2011 May 20;286(20):17618-30. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M111.226563. Epub 2011 Mar 25.

Hyaluronan facilitates transforming growth factor-β1-dependent proliferation via CD44 and epidermal growth factor receptor interaction.

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  • 1Institute of Nephrology, University Hospital of Wales, Heath Park, Cardiff CF14 4XN, United Kingdom. merans@cf.ac.uk

Abstract

Fibroblast proliferation is an early feature of progressive tissue fibrosis and is largely regulated by the cytokine transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1). In the oral mucosa, fibroblasts have a unique phenotype and demonstrate healing with no fibrosis/scarring. Our previous studies show that whereas dermal fibroblasts proliferate in response to TGF-β1, oral fibroblasts have an antiproliferative response to this cytokine. Hyaluronan (HA) was directly linked to this TGF-β1-dependent response. The aim of this study was to understand the underlying mechanism through which HA regulates TGF-β-dependent responses. Using patient-matched oral and dermal fibroblasts, we show that TGF-β1-dependent proliferation is mediated through the HA receptor CD44, whereas the TGF-β1-mediated antiproliferative response is CD44-independent. Furthermore, overexpression of HAS2 (HA synthase-2) in oral cells modifies their response, and they subsequently demonstrate a proliferative, CD44-dependent response to TGF-β1. We also show that epidermal growth factor (EGF) and its receptor (EGFR) are essential for TGF-β1/HA/CD44-dependent proliferation. Increased HA levels promote EGFR and CD44 coupling, potentiating signal transduction through the MAPK/ERK pathway. Thus, in a HA-rich environment, late ERK1/2 activation results from EGFR/CD44 coupling and leads to a proliferative response to TGF-β1. In comparison, in a non-HA-rich environment, only early ERK1/2 activation occurs, and this is associated with an antiproliferative response to TGF-β1. In summary, HA facilitates TGF-β1-dependent fibroblast proliferation through promoting interaction between CD44 and EGFR, which then promotes specific MAPK/ERK activation, inducing cellular proliferation.

PMID:
21454519
PMCID:
PMC3093837
DOI:
10.1074/jbc.M111.226563
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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