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PLoS One. 2016 Aug 12;11(8):e0161347. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0161347. eCollection 2016.

Transcriptome-Wide Expression Profiling in Skin Fibroblasts of Patients with Joint Hypermobility Syndrome/Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Hypermobility Type.

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Department of Molecular and Translational Medicine, Division of Biology and Genetics, University of Brescia, Bres6cia, Italy.
Department of Clinical and Experimental Sciences, Division of Dermatology, Spedali Civili University Hospital, Brescia, Italy.
Department of Molecular Medicine, Unit of Medical Genetics, Sapienza University, San Camillo-Forlanini Hospital, Rome, Italy.


Joint hypermobility syndrome/Ehlers-Danlos syndrome hypermobility type (JHS/EDS-HT), is likely the most common systemic heritable connective tissue disorder, and is mostly recognized by generalized joint hypermobility, joint instability complications, minor skin changes and a wide range of satellite features. JHS/EDS-HT is considered an autosomal dominant trait but is still without a defined molecular basis. The absence of (a) causative gene(s) for JHS/EDS-HT is likely attributable to marked genetic heterogeneity and/or interaction of multiple loci. In order to help in deciphering such a complex molecular background, we carried out a comprehensive immunofluorescence analysis and gene expression profiling in cultured skin fibroblasts from five women affected with JHS/EDS-HT. Protein study revealed disarray of several matrix structural components such as fibrillins, tenascins, elastin, collagens, fibronectin, and their integrin receptors. Transcriptome analysis indicated perturbation of different signaling cascades that are required for homeostatic regulation either during development or in adult tissues as well as altered expression of several genes involved in maintenance of extracellular matrix architecture and homeostasis (e.g., SPON2, TGM2, MMP16, GPC4, SULF1), cell-cell adhesion (e.g., CDH2, CHD10, PCDH9, CLDN11, FLG, DSP), immune/inflammatory/pain responses (e.g., CFD, AQP9, COLEC12, KCNQ5, PRLR), and essential for redox balance (e.g., ADH1C, AKR1C2, AKR1C3, MAOB, GSTM5). Our findings provide a picture of the gene expression profile and dysregulated pathways in JHS/EDS-HT skin fibroblasts that correlate well with the systemic phenotype of the patients.

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