Effects of TRAP-1-Like Protein (TLP) Gene on Collagen Synthesis Induced by TGF-β/Smad Signaling in Human Dermal Fibroblasts

Wang, Xue; Qian, Yunliang; Jin, Rong; Wo, Yan; Chen, Jun; Wang, Chen; Wang, Danru
February 2013
PLoS ONE;Feb2013, Vol. 8 Issue 2, p1
Academic Journal
Background: Hypertrophic scars are pathologic proliferations of the dermal skin layer resulting from excessive collagen deposition during the healing process of cutaneous wounds. Current research suggests that the TGF-β/Smad signaling pathway is closely associated with normal scar and hypertrophic scar formation. TRAP-1-like protein (TLP), a cytoplasmic protein, has been reported to efficiently regulate Smad2- and Smad3-dependent signal expression in the TGF-β pathway. The relationship between TLP and Type I/III collagen (Col I/III) synthesis explored in the present study provides an effective target for wound healing and gene therapy of hypertrophic scarring. Objective: To investigate the effects of TLP on collagen synthesis in human dermal fibroblasts. Methods: Lentiviral vectors encoding TLP was constructed to transfect fibroblasts derived from normal human skin. The expression of Col I/III and phosphorylation of Smad2 and Smad3 in fibroblasts were examined after TLP treatment. In addition, the comparison of TLP expression in normal skin tissues and in hypertrophic scar tissues was performed, and the effect of TLP on cell viability was analyzed by MTT assay. Results: TLP expression in hypertrophic scar tissue was markedly higher than in normal skin tissue. The Real Time PCR and Western blot test results both revealed that the synthesis of Col I/III was positively correlated with the expression of TLP. TLP also facilitate Smad2 phosphorylation while, conversely, inhibiting Smad3 phosphorylation. TLP may play a cooperative role, along with the cytokine TGF-β1, in improving the overall cell viability of skin fibroblasts. Conclusions: TLP likely acts as a molecular modulator capable of altering the balance of Smad3- and Smad2-dependent signaling through regulation of phosphorylation, thus facilitating collagen synthesis in fibroblasts. Based on genetic variation in TLP levels in different tissues, these results suggest that TLP plays a key role in the process of TGF-β1/Smad3 signaling that contributes to wound healing and genesis of pathologic scars.


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