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EMBO J. 1986 May;5(5):913-7.

Wounding a fibroblast monolayer results in the rapid induction of the c-fos proto-oncogene.


The c-fos gene has previously been shown to be transiently induced within minutes after the stimulation of mouse fibroblasts with growth factors. Induction of c-fos was observed specifically with competence factors (e.g., platelet-derived growth factor), not with progression factors (e.g., platelet-poor plasma), suggesting a role for c-fos in conferring competence on fibroblasts. To test this hypothesis we have analyzed c-fos expression in NIH 3T3 cells that were made competent in a different way, namely by wounding a confluent monolayer of cells. Using antibodies raised against either a synthetic fos peptide or a beta-galactosidase--fos fusion protein, we show in this study that in the majority of cells lining the wound c-fos protein is rapidly and transiently induced to high levels. No induction is observed in cells at a distance from the wound greater than approximately 5 cell layers. Induction is equally efficient in both serum-containing and serum-free medium, and is similar in cells that were deprived of fetal calf serum for 40 h prior to making the wound. Our observations support the hypothesis that c-fos may be involved in inducing the 'competent state' in fibroblasts and suggests an early role for c-fos in wound healing and tissue regeneration.

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