The principal effect of TGF-β1 on mesenchymal cells is its stimulation of ECM synthesis. Previous reports indicated the significance of the autocrine TGF-β loop in the pathogenesis of scleroderma. In this study, we focused on Smad7 and Smurfs, principal molecules in the negative regulation of TGF-β signaling, to further understand the autocrine TGF-β loop in scleroderma. Scleroderma fibroblasts exhibited increased Smad7 levels compared with normal fibroblasts in vivo and in vitro. Smad7 constitutively formed a complex with the TGF-β receptors, and the inhibitory effect of Smad7 on the promoter activity of human α2(I) collagen and 3TP-lux was completely impaired in scleroderma fibroblasts. Furthermore, the protein stability of TGF-β receptor type I was significantly increased in scleroderma fibroblasts compared with normal fibroblasts. There was no significant difference in Smurf1 and Smurf2 levels between normal and scleroderma fibroblasts, and the transiently overexpressed Smurf1 and/or Smurf2 did not affect TGF-β receptor type I protein levels in scleroderma fibroblasts. These results indicate that the impaired Smad7-Smurf–mediated inhibitory effect on TGF-β signaling might contribute to maintaining the autocrine TGF-β loop in scleroderma fibroblasts. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a disturbed negative regulation of TGF-β signaling in fibrotic disorders.
Yoshihide Asano, Hironobu Ihn, Kenichi Yamane, Masahide Kubo, Kunihiko Tamaki
Usage data is cumulative from January 2020 through January 2021.
Usage information is collected from two different sources: this site (JCI) and Pubmed Central (PMC). JCI information (compiled daily) shows human readership based on methods we employ to screen out robotic usage. PMC information (aggregated monthly) is also similarly screened of robotic usage.
Various methods are used to distinguish robotic usage. For example, Google automatically scans articles to add to its search index and identifies itself as robotic; other services might not clearly identify themselves as robotic, or they are new or unknown as robotic. Because this activity can be misinterpreted as human readership, data may be re-processed periodically to reflect an improved understanding of robotic activity. Because of these factors, readers should consider usage information illustrative but subject to change.