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J Cell Mol Med. 2017 Nov;21(11):2809-2822. doi: 10.1111/jcmm.13195. Epub 2017 May 4.

Endothelial cell-derived matrix promotes the metabolic functional maturation of hepatocyte via integrin-Src signalling.

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Department of Cell Biology, Municipal Laboratory for Liver Protection and Regulation of Regeneration, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.


The extracellular matrix (ECM) microenvironment is involved in the regulation of hepatocyte phenotype and function. Recently, the cell-derived extracellular matrix has been proposed to represent the bioactive and biocompatible materials of the native ECM. Here, we show that the endothelial cell-derived matrix (EC matrix) promotes the metabolic maturation of human adipose stem cell-derived hepatocyte-like cells (hASC-HLCs) through the activation of the transcription factor forkhead box protein A2 (FOXA2) and the nuclear receptors hepatocyte nuclear factor 4 alpha (HNF4α) and pregnane X receptor (PXR). Reducing the fibronectin content in the EC matrix or silencing the expression of α5 integrin in the hASC-HLCs inhibited the effect of the EC matrix on Src phosphorylation and hepatocyte maturation. The inhibition of Src phosphorylation using the inhibitor PP2 or silencing the expression of Src in hASC-HLCs also attenuated the up-regulation of the metabolic function of hASC-HLCs in a nuclear receptor-dependent manner. These data elucidate integrin-Src signalling linking the extrinsic EC matrix signals and metabolic functional maturation of hepatocyte. This study provides a model for studying the interaction between hepatocytes and non-parenchymal cell-derived matrix.


Src; endothelial cells; extracellular matrix; hepatocyte; integrin; metabolism

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