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    Interplay between CCN1 and Wnt5a in endothelial cells and pericytes determines the angiogenic outcome in a model of ischemic retinopathy. Lee Sangmi,Elaskandrany Menna,Lau Lester F,Lazzaro Douglas,Grant Maria B,Chaqour Brahim Scientific reports CYR61-CTGF-NOV (CCN)1 is a dynamically expressed extracellular matrix (ECM) protein with critical functions in cardiovascular development and tissue repair. Angiogenic endothelial cells (ECs) are a major cellular source of CCN1 which, once secreted, associates with the ECM and the cell surface and tightly controls the bidirectional flow of information between cells and the surrounding matrix. Endothelium-specific CCN1 deletion in mice using a cre/lox strategy induces EC hyperplasia and causes blood vessels to coalesce into large flat hyperplastic sinuses with no distinctive hierarchical organization. This is consistent with the role of CCN1 as a negative feedback regulator of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptor activation. In the mouse model of oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR), pericytes become the predominant CCN1 producing cells. Pericyte-specific deletion of CCN1 significantly decreases pathological retinal neovascularization following OIR. CCN1 induces the expression of the non-canonical Wnt5a in pericyte but not in EC cultures. In turn, exogenous Wnt5a inhibits CCN1 gene expression, induces EC proliferation and increases hypersprouting. Concordantly, treatment of mice with TNP470, a non-canonical Wnt5a inhibitor, reestablishes endothelial expression of CCN1 and significantly decreases pathological neovascular growth in OIR. Our data highlight the significance of CCN1-EC and CCN1-pericyte communication signals in driving physiological and pathological angiogenesis. 10.1038/s41598-017-01585-8
    Regulation and function of connective tissue growth factor/CCN2 in tissue repair, scarring and fibrosis. Shi-Wen Xu,Leask Andrew,Abraham David Cytokine & growth factor reviews Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF, CCN2) is a secreted protein with major roles in angiogenesis, chondrogenesis, osteogenesis, tissue repair, cancer and fibrosis. It is a member of the CCN family of immediate-early gene products which are characterised by four discrete protein modules in which reside growth factor binding domains, functional motifs for integrin recognition, heparin and proteoglycan binding, and dimerization motifs. A primary function of CTGF is to modulate and coordinate signaling responses involving cell surface proteoglycans, key components of the extracellular matrix, and growth factors. Integration of these molecular cues regulates growth factor and receptor interactions, cell motility and mesenchymal cell activation and differentiation in tissue remodelling. Abnormal amplification of CTGF dependent signals results in a failure to terminate tissue repair, leading pathological scarring in conditions such as fibrosis and cancer. 10.1016/j.cytogfr.2008.01.002
    CCN proteins: multifunctional signalling regulators. Perbal Bernard Lancet (London, England) CONTEXT:Although little is known as yet about the processes that coordinate cell-signalling pathways, matrix proteins are probably major players in this type of global control. The CCN (cyr61, ctgf, nov) proteins are an important family of matricellular regulatory factors involved in internal and external cell signalling. This family participates in angiogenesis, chondrogenesis, and osteogenesis, and they are probably involved in the control of cell proliferation and differentiation. STARTING POINT:Runping Gao and David Brigstock (Hepatol Res 2003; 27: 214-20) recently showed that CCN2 (CTGF, connective tissue growth factor) is a cell-adhesion factor for hepatic stellate cells. On exposure to transforming growth factor beta, hepatic stellate cells produce distinct CCN2 isoforms. Gao and Brigstock assign to CCN2 module 3 the capacity to mediate binding to low-density-lipoprotein receptor-related protein (LRP), which was previously reported to interact with CCN2 and to be involved in various types of signalling. They also establish that CCN2 binding to LRP is heparin dependent and that module 4 of CCN2 promotes LRP-independent adhesion of hepatic stellate cells. The differential binding of CCN2 isoforms to LRP highlights the importance of functional interactions between individual modules, and reinforces the concept that different module combinations might confer agonistic or antagonistic activities. WHERE NEXT? It is essential to understand how the distinct configuration of the various CCN isoform affects their biological activities and bioavailability, and to explore the mechanisms and the regulatory processes involved in the production of truncated CCN isoforms. A better understanding of the structural basis for their multifunctionality is a prerequisite to wider use of CCN proteins in molecular medicine. 10.1016/S0140-6736(03)15172-0
    Expression of connective tissue growth factor (CTGF/CCN2) in breast cancer cells is associated with increased migration and angiogenesis. Chien Wenwen,O'Kelly James,Lu Daning,Leiter Amanda,Sohn Julia,Yin Dong,Karlan Beth,Vadgama Jay,Lyons Karen M,Koeffler H Phillip International journal of oncology Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF/CCN2) belongs to the CCN family of matricellular proteins, comprising Cyr61, CTGF, NovH and WISP1-3. The CCN proteins contain an N-terminal signal peptide followed by four conserved domains sharing sequence similarities with the insulin-like growth factor binding proteins, von Willebrand factor type C repeat, thrombospondin type 1 repeat, and a C-terminal growth factor cysteine knot domain. To investigate the role of CCN2 in breast cancer, we transfected MCF-7 cells with full-length CCN2, and with four mutant constructs in which one of the domains had been deleted. MCF-7 cells stably expressing full-length CCN2 demonstrated reduced cell proliferation, increased migration in Boyden chamber assays and promoted angiogenesis in chorioallantoic membrane assays compared to control cells. Deletion of the C-terminal cysteine knot domain, but not of any other domain-deleted mutants, abolished activities mediated by full-length CCN2. We have dissected the role of CCN2 in breast tumorigenesis on a structural basis. 10.3892/ijo.2011.985
    Acellular dermal matrix scaffolds coated with connective tissue growth factor accelerate diabetic wound healing by increasing fibronectin through PKC signalling pathway. Yan Wenxia,Liu Hanping,Deng Xiaoyuan,Jin Ying,Wang Ning,Chu Jing Journal of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine The regional injection of connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) for diabetic wound healing requires multiple components and results in a substantial loss of its biological activity. Acellular dermal matrix (ADM) scaffolds are optimal candidates for delivering these factors to local ischaemic environments. In this study, we explored whether CTGF loaded on ADM scaffolds can enhance fibronectin (FN) expression to accelerate diabetic wound healing via the protein kinase C (PKC) signalling pathway. The performance of CTGF and CTGF + PKC inhibitor, which were loaded on ADM scaffolds to treat dorsal skin wounds in streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice, was evaluated with naked ADM as a control. Wound closure showed that ADM scaffolds loaded with CTGF induced greater diabetic wound healing in the early stage of the wound in diabetic mice. Moreover, ADM scaffolds loaded with CTGF obviously increased the expression of FN both at the mRNA and protein levels, whereas the expression of FN was significantly reduced in the inhibitor group. Furthermore, the ADM + CTGF group, which produce FN, obviously promoted alpha-smooth muscle actin and transforming growth factor-beta expression and enhanced neovasculature and collagen synthesis at the wound sites. ADM scaffolds loaded with CTGF + PKC inhibitor delayed diabetic wound healing, indicating that FN expression was mediated by the PKC signalling pathway. Our findings offer new perspectives for the treatment of diabetic wound healing and suggest a rationale for the clinical evaluation of CTGF use in diabetic wound healing. 10.1002/term.2564
    Expression of CTGF/CCN2 in response to LPA is stimulated by fibrotic extracellular matrix via the integrin/FAK axis. Riquelme-Guzmán Camilo,Contreras Osvaldo,Brandan Enrique American journal of physiology. Cell physiology Fibrosis is a common feature of several chronic diseases and is characterized by exacerbated accumulation of ECM. An understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the development of this condition is crucial for designing efficient treatments for those pathologies. Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF/CCN2) is a pleiotropic protein with strong profibrotic activity. In this report, we present experimental evidence showing that ECM stimulates the synthesis of CTGF in response to lysophosphatidic acid (LPA).The integrin/focal adhesion kinase (FAK) signaling pathway mediates this effect, since CTGF expression is abolished by the use of the Arg-Gly-Asp-Ser peptide and also by an inhibitor of FAK autophosphorylation at tyrosine 397. Cilengitide, a specific inhibitor of αv integrins, inhibits the expression of CTGF mediated by LPA or transforming growth factor β1. We show that ECM obtained from decellularized myofibroblast cultures or derived from activated fibroblasts from muscles of the Duchenne muscular dystrophy mouse model ( mdx) induces the expression of CTGF. This effect is dependent on FAK phosphorylation in response to its activation by integrin. We also found that the fibrotic ECM inhibits skeletal muscle differentiation. This novel regulatory mechanism of CTGF expression could be acting as a positive profibrotic feedback between the ECM and CTGF, revealing a novel concept in the control of fibrosis under chronic damage. 10.1152/ajpcell.00013.2017
    Exogenous CGRP upregulates profibrogenic growth factors through PKC/JNK signaling pathway in kidney proximal tubular cells. Yoon Sang Pil,Kim Jinu Cell biology and toxicology Kidney denervation prevents the development of tubulointerstitial fibrosis, but the neuropeptide calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) in the denervated kidneys restores the fibrotic feature through the upregulation of profibrogenic growth factors. CGRP is involved in aggravation of inflammation by increasing the number of circulating cells and chemotactic factors. However, it is not clear how CGRP contributes to the upregulation of profibrogenic factors during fibrogenesis. In both human and pig kidney proximal tubular cell lines, administration of 1 nM CGRP significantly increased the levels of transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) production and connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) expression at 6 and 24 h after the administration. Exogenous CGRP also increased the TGF-β1 and CTGF protein levels in the incubation media, indicating release of these proteins from the cells. Treatment with 100 nM CGRP receptor antagonist (CGRP) for 24 h significantly inhibited the increase in intracellular levels and released levels of TGF-β1 and CTGF in CGRP-treated cells. Genetic inhibition of CGRP receptor using siRNA transfection also suppressed the increase in TGF-β1 production and release at 24 h after CGRP stimulation. Furthermore, treatment with a specific protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor chelerythrine (1 thru 10 μM) markedly reduced the upregulation and release of TGF-β1 and CTGF 6 h after CGRP administration. Finally, inhibition of c-Jun N-terminal protein kinase (JNK) phosphorylation using 1 μM SP600125 prevented the increase in TGF-β1 and CTGF upregulation and release 6 h after CGRP administration. Consistent with the in vitro data, exogenous CGRP in denervated UUO kidneys upregulated and secreted TGF-β1 and CTGF in dependence on PKC activation and JNK phosphorylation. In conclusion, these data suggest that exogenous CGRP induces the upregulation and secretion of profibrogenic TGF-β1 and CTGF proteins through the CGRP receptor/PKC/JNK signaling pathway in kidney proximal tubular cells. 10.1007/s10565-017-9399-4
    Astrocyte-secreted matricellular proteins in CNS remodelling during development and disease. Jones Emma V,Bouvier David S Neural plasticity Matricellular proteins are secreted, nonstructural proteins that regulate the extracellular matrix (ECM) and interactions between cells through modulation of growth factor signaling, cell adhesion, migration, and proliferation. Despite being well described in the context of nonneuronal tissues, recent studies have revealed that these molecules may also play instrumental roles in central nervous system (CNS) development and diseases. In this minireview, we discuss the matricellular protein families SPARC (secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine), Hevin/SC1 (SPARC-like 1), TN-C (Tenascin C), TSP (Thrombospondin), and CCN (CYR61/CTGF/NOV), which are secreted by astrocytes during development. These proteins exhibit a reduced expression in adult CNS but are upregulated in reactive astrocytes following injury or disease, where they are well placed to modulate the repair processes such as tissue remodeling, axon regeneration, glial scar formation, angiogenesis, and rewiring of neural circuitry. Conversely, their reexpression in reactive astrocytes may also lead to detrimental effects and promote the progression of neurodegenerative diseases. 10.1155/2014/321209
    Wnt1 inducible signalling pathway protein-2 (WISP‑2/CCN5): roles and regulation in human cancers (review). Ji Jiafu,Jia Shuqin,Ji Ke,Jiang Wen G Oncology reports Wnt1 inducible signalling pathway protein-2 (WISP‑2), also known as CCN5, CT58, CTGF-L, CTGF-3, HICP and Cop1, is one of the 3 WNT1 inducible proteins that belongs to the CCN family. This family of members has been shown to play multiple roles in a number of pathophysiological processes, including cell proliferation, adhesion, wound healing, extracellular matrix regulation, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, angiogenesis, fibrosis, skeletal development and embryo implantation. Recent results suggest that WISP-2 is relevant to tumorigenesis and malignant transformation, particularly in breast cancer, colorectal cancer and hepatocarcinoma. Notably, its roles in cancer appear to vary depending on cell/tumour type and the microenvironment. The striking difference in the structure of WISP-2 in comparison with the other 2 family members may contribute to its difference in functions, which leads to the hypothesis that WISP-2 may act as a dominant-negative regulator of other CCN family members. In the present review, we summarise the roles, regulation and underlying mechanism of WISP-2 in human cancers. 10.3892/or.2013.2909
    Cyr61/CTGF/Nov family proteins in gastric carcinogenesis. Cheng Tsu-Yao,Wu Ming-Shiang,Hua Kuo-Tai,Kuo Min-Liang,Lin Ming-Tsan World journal of gastroenterology Gastric cancer (GC) is the second leading cause of cancer-related death. The poor survival rate may reflect the relatively aggressive tumor biology of GC. Recently, the importance of the tumor microenvironment in carcinogenesis has emerged. In the tumor microenvironment, tumor cells and the surrounding stromal cells aberrantly secrete matricellular proteins capable of modulating carcinogenesis and regulating metastasis. The Cyr61/CTGF/Nov (CCN) proteins are a family of matricellular proteins with variable roles in many physiological and pathological processes. The evidence suggests that CCN family proteins contribute to GC carcinogenic processes. Here, we briefly review recent research on the effects of CCN family proteins in GC carcinogenesis and the development of new targeted agents in this field. 10.3748/wjg.v20.i7.1694
    The role of matricellular proteins in glaucoma. Wallace Deborah M,Murphy-Ullrich Joanne E,Downs J Crawford,O'Brien Colm J Matrix biology : journal of the International Society for Matrix Biology Glaucoma is an optic neuropathy affecting approximately 60million people worldwide and is the second most common cause of irreversible blindness. Elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) is the main risk factor for developing glaucoma and is caused by impaired aqueous humor drainage through the trabecular meshwork (TM) and Schlemm's canal (SC). In primary open angle glaucoma (POAG), this elevation in IOP in turn leads to deformation at the optic nerve head (ONH) specifically at the lamina cribrosa (LC) region where there is also a deposition of extracellular matrix (ECM) molecules such as collagen and fibronectin. Matricellular proteins are non-structural secreted glycoproteins that help cells communicate with their surrounding ECM. This family of proteins includes connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), also known as CCN2, thrombospondins (TSPs), secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC), periostin, osteonectin, and Tenascin-C and -X and other ECM proteins. All members appear to play a role in fibrosis and increased ECM deposition. Most are widely expressed in tissues particularly in the TM and ONH and deficiency of TSP1 and SPARC have been shown to lower IOP in mouse models of glaucoma through enhanced outflow facility. The role of these proteins in glaucoma is emerging as some have an association with the pathophysiology of the TM and LC regions and might therefore be potential targets for therapeutic intervention in glaucoma. 10.1016/j.matbio.2014.03.007
    Regulation of pancreatic function by connective tissue growth factor (CTGF, CCN2). Charrier Alyssa,Brigstock David R Cytokine & growth factor reviews Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF/CCN2) is a cysteine-rich matricellular secreted protein that regulates diverse cell functions including adhesion, migration, proliferation, differentiation, survival, senescence and apoptosis. In the pancreas, CTGF/CCN2 regulates critical functions including β cell replication during embryogenesis, stimulation of fibrogenic pathways in pancreatic stellate cells during pancreatitis, and regulation of the epithelial and stromal components in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. This article reviews the evidence establishing CTGF/CCN2 as an important player in pancreatic physiology and pathology, highlighting the specific cell types that are involved in each process and the importance of CTGF/CCN2 as a component of autocrine or paracrine signaling within or between these various cells. Translational applications, including the potential for CTGF/CCN2-based therapies in diabetes, fibrosis, or cancer, are discussed. 10.1016/j.cytogfr.2012.07.001
    N-terminal domains of CCN family 2/connective tissue growth factor bind to aggrecan. Aoyama Eriko,Hattori Takako,Hoshijima Mitsuhiro,Araki Daisuke,Nishida Takashi,Kubota Satoshi,Takigawa Masaharu The Biochemical journal CCN2/CTGF (CCN family 2/connective tissue growth factor) is a multi-cellular protein with a broad range of activities. It modulates many cellular functions, including proliferation, migration, adhesion and extracellular matrix production, and it is thus involved in many biological and pathological processes. In particular, CCN2/CTGF is essential for normal skeletal development. To identify CCN2/CTGF-interactive proteins capable of modulating its action in cartilage, we carried out a yeast two-hybrid screening using CCN2/CTGF peptide as a bait and a cDNA library from a chondrocytic cell line, HCS-2/8. In the present paper, we report the identification of aggrecan, which is a major proteoglycan of the extracellular matrix in cartilage, as a CCN2/CTGF-binding protein. Among the four domains of CCN2/CTGF, the IGFBP [IGF (insulin-like growth factor)-binding protein-like] and/or VWC (von Willebrand factor type C) domains had a direct interaction with aggrecan in a yeast two-hybrid assay. The results of a solid-phase-binding assay using aggrecan-coated plates also showed binding to recombinant CCN2/CTGF in a dose-dependent manner. rIGFBP (recombinant IGFBP) and rVWC (recombinant VWC) module peptides had stronger binding to aggrecan compared with rTSP1 (recombinant thrombospondin type 1 repeat) and rCT (recombinant C-terminal cystine knot) module peptides. SPR (surface plasmon resonance) analysis showed the direct interaction between the CCN2/CTGF and aggrecan, and ectopically overexpressed CCN2/CTGF and AgG3 (G3 domain of aggrecan) confirmed their binding In vivo. Indirect immunofluorescence analysis indicated that CCN2/CTGF was extracellularly co-localized with aggrecan on HCS-2/8 cells. The rIGFBP-rVWC peptide effectively enhanced the production and release of aggrecan compared with the rTSP-rCT peptide in chondrocytes. These results indicate that CCN2/CTGF binds to aggrecan through its N-terminal IGFBP and VWC modules, and this binding may be related to the CCN2/CTGF-enhanced production and secretion of aggrecan by chondrocytes. 10.1042/BJ20081991
    New strategy to control cell migration and metastasis regulated by CCN2/CTGF. Aguiar Diego Pinheiro,de Farias Gabriel Correa,de Sousa Eduardo Branco,de Mattos Coelho-Aguiar Juliana,Lobo Julie Calixto,Casado Priscila Ladeira,Duarte Maria Eugênia Leite,Abreu José Garcia Ribeiro Cancer cell international Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF)/CCN family member 2 (CCN2) is a CCN family member of matricellular signaling modulators. It has been shown that CCN2/CTGF mediates cell adhesion, aggregation and migration in a large variety of cell types, including vascular endothelial cells, fibroblasts, epithelial cells, aortic smooth muscle and also pluripotent stem cells. Others matricellular proteins are capable of interacting with CCN2/CTGF to mediate its function. Cell migration is a key feature for tumor cell invasion and metastasis. CCN2/CTGF seems to be a prognostic marker for cancer. In addition, here we intend to discuss recent discoveries and a new strategy to develop therapies against CCN2/CTGF, in order to treat cancer metastasis. 10.1186/1475-2867-14-61
    Alport syndrome: its effects on the glomerular filtration barrier and implications for future treatment. Savige Judy The Journal of physiology The glomerular filtration barrier comprises a fenestrated capillary endothelium, glomerular basement membrane and podocyte slit diaphragm. Over the past decade we have come to realise that permselectivity depends on size and not necessarily charge, that the molecular sieve depends on the podocyte contractile apparatus and is highly dynamic, and that protein uptake by proximal tubular epithelial cells stimulates signalling and the production of transcription factors and inflammatory mediators. Alport syndrome is the second commonest monogenic cause of renal failure after autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease. Eighty per cent of patients have X-linked disease caused by mutations in the COL4A5 gene. Most of these result in the replacement of the collagen IV α3α4α5 network with the α1α1α2 heterotrimer. Affected membranes also have ectopic laminin and increased matrix metalloproteinase levels, which makes them more susceptible to proteolysis. Mechanical stress, due to the less elastic membrane and hypertension, interferes with integrin-mediated podocyte-GBM adhesion. Proteinuria occurs when urinary levels exceed tubular reabsorption rates, and initiates tubulointerstitial fibrosis. The glomerular mesangial cells produce increased TGFβ and CTGF which also contribute to glomerulosclerosis. Currently there is no specific therapy for Alport syndrome. However treatment with angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors delays renal failure progression by reducing intraglomerular hypertension, proteinuria, and fibrosis. Our greater understanding of the mechanisms underlying the GBM changes and their consequences in Alport syndrome have provided us with further novel therapeutic targets. 10.1113/jphysiol.2014.274449
    Targeting CTGF, EGF and PDGF pathways to prevent progression of kidney disease. Kok Helena M,Falke Lucas L,Goldschmeding Roel,Nguyen Tri Q Nature reviews. Nephrology Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a major health and economic burden with a rising incidence. During progression of CKD, the sustained release of proinflammatory and profibrotic cytokines and growth factors leads to an excessive accumulation of extracellular matrix. Transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) and angiotensin II are considered to be the two main driving forces in fibrotic development. Blockade of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system has become the mainstay therapy for preservation of kidney function, but this treatment is not sufficient to prevent progression of fibrosis and CKD. Several factors that induce fibrosis have been identified, not only by TGF-β-dependent mechanisms, but also by TGF-β-independent mechanisms. Among these factors are the (partially) TGF-β-independent profibrotic pathways involving connective tissue growth factor, epidermal growth factor and platelet-derived growth factor and their receptors. In this Review, we discuss the specific roles of these pathways, their interactions and preclinical evidence supporting their qualification as additional targets for novel antifibrotic therapies. 10.1038/nrneph.2014.184
    Deregulated expression of connective tissue growth factor (CTGF/CCN2) is linked to poor outcome in human cancer. Wells Julia E,Howlett Meegan,Cole Catherine H,Kees Ursula R International journal of cancer Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF/CCN2) has long been associated with human cancers. The role it plays in these neoplasms is diverse and tumour specific. Recurring patterns in clinical outcome, histological desmoplasia and mechanisms of action have been found. When CTGF is overexpressed compared to low-expressing normal tissue or is underexpressed compared to high-expressing normal tissue, the functional outcome favours tumour survival and disease progression. CTGF acts by altering proliferation, drug resistance, angiogenesis, adhesion and migration contributing to metastasis. The pattern of CTGF expression and tumour response helps to clarify the role of this matricellular protein across a multitude of human cancers. 10.1002/ijc.28972
    A Novel Mechanism of Renal Microcirculation Regulation: Connecting Tubule-Glomerular Feedback. Romero Cesar A,Carretero Oscar A Current hypertension reports PURPOSE OF REVIEW:In this review, we summarized the current knowledge of connecting tubule-glomerular feedback (CTGF), a novel mechanism of renal microcirculation regulation that integrates sodium handling in the connecting tubule (CNT) with kidney hemodynamics. RECENT FINDINGS:Connecting tubule-glomerular feedback is a crosstalk communication between the CNT and the afferent arteriole (Af-Art), initiated by sodium chloride through the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC). High sodium in the CNT induces Af-Art vasodilation, increasing glomerular pressure and the glomerular filtration rate and favoring sodium excretion. CTGF antagonized and reset tubuloglomerular feedback and thus increased sodium excretion. CTGF is absent in spontaneous hypertensive rats and is overactivated in Dahl salt-sensitive rats. CTGF is also modulated by angiotensin II and aldosterone. CTGF is a feedback mechanism that integrates sodium handling in the CNT with glomerular hemodynamics. Lack of CTGF could promote hypertension, and CTGF overactivation may favor glomerular damage and proteinuria. More studies are needed to explore the alterations in renal microcirculation and the role of these alterations in the genesis of hypertension and glomerular damage in animals and humans. KEY POINTS:• CTGF is a vasodilator mechanism that regulates afferent arteriole resistance. • CTGF is absent in spontaneous hypertensive rats and overactivated in Dahl salt-sensitive rats. • CTGF in excess may promote glomerular damage and proteinuria, while the absence may participate in sodium retention and hypertension. 10.1007/s11906-019-0911-5
    CTGF/CCN2 from Skeletal Muscle to Nervous System: Impact on Neurodegenerative Diseases. Gonzalez David,Brandan Enrique Molecular neurobiology Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF/CCN2) is a matricellular protein that belongs to the CCN family of proteins. Since its discovery, it has been linked to cellular processes such as cell proliferation, differentiation, adhesion, migration, and synthesis of extracellular matrix (ECM) components, among others. The pro-fibrotic role of CTGF/CCN2 has been well-studied in several pathologies characterized by the development of fibrosis. Reduction of CTGF/CCN2 levels in mdx mice, a murine model for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), decreases fibrosis and improves skeletal muscle phenotype and function. Recently, it has been shown that skeletal muscle of symptomatic hSOD1 mice, a model for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), shows up-regulation of CTGF/CCN2 accompanied by excessive deposition ECM molecules. Elevated levels of CTGF/CCN2 in spinal cord from ALS patients have been previously reported. However, there is no evidence regarding the role of CTGF/CCN2 in neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS, in which alterations in skeletal muscle seem to be the consequence of early pathological denervation. In this regard, the emerging evidence shows that CTGF/CCN2 also exerts non-fibrotic roles in the central nervous system (CNS), specifically impairing oligodendrocyte maturation and regeneration, and inhibiting axon myelination. Despite these striking observations, there is no evidence showing the role of CTGF/CCN2 in peripheral nerves. Therefore, even though more studies are needed to elucidate its precise role, CTGF/CCN2 is starting to emerge as a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases where demyelination and axonal degeneration occurs. 10.1007/s12035-019-1490-9
    Causative glaucoma treatment: promising targets and delivery systems. Mietzner Raphael,Breunig Miriam Drug discovery today Glaucoma is one of the most common causes of blindness worldwide. Elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) is the major modifiable risk factor of the disease. Conventional therapy suffers from poor compliance, low bioavailability, and the lack of causative treatment options. To improve therapeutic success, it is crucial to identify major mediators of pathological changes associated with elevated IOP and to intervene at the molecular level. Here, we discuss relevant key functions of transforming growth factor-β2 (TGF-β2), connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), integrins, Rho-associated kinase (ROCK), and nitric oxide (NO) with regard to the onset of glaucoma, highlighting new drug delivery approaches for causative treatment. 10.1016/j.drudis.2019.03.017
    CTGF: A potential therapeutic target for Bronchopulmonary dysplasia. Wang Xinbao,Cui Hong,Wu Shu European journal of pharmacology Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is a chronic lung disease that often occurs in preterm infants. However, there is still no effective treatment for BPD. Recent studies demonstrated that connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) is involved in the development of BPD in experimental models. CTGF, also known as CCN2, is the second member of the CCN family and is necessary for normal lung development. The expression of CTGF is increased in lung tissues in infants with BPD. Hyperoxia, inflammation and mechanic ventilation increase CTGF expression which may promote fibroblast proliferation, matrix production and vascular remodeling. Conditional overexpression of CTGF in alveolar epithelial type II cells disrupts alveolarization and vascular development, induces vascular remodeling, and results in pulmonary hypertension, the pathological hallmarks of severe BPD. Further studies have shown that inhibition of CTGF by a CTGF monoclonal antibody improved alveolarization and vascular development, and decreased pulmonary vascular remodeling and pulmonary hypertension in a rodent model of BPD induced by hyperoxia. CTGF may be a novel target for BPD therapy in preterm infants. 10.1016/j.ejphar.2019.172588
    Mucosal Immunity and the FOXO1 Transcription Factors. Graves Dana T,Milovanova Tatyana N Frontiers in immunology FOXO1 transcription factors affect a number of cell types that are important in the host response. Cell types whose functions are modulated by FOXO1 include keratinocytes in the skin and mucosal dermis, neutrophils and macrophages, dendritic cells, Tregs and B-cells. FOXO1 is activated by bacterial or cytokine stimulation. Its translocation to the nucleus and binding to promoter regions of genes that have response elements is stimulated by the MAP kinase pathway and inhibited by the PI3 kinase/AKT pathway. Downstream gene targets of FOXO1 include pro-inflammatory signaling molecules (TLR2, TLR4, IL-1β, and TNF-α), wound healing factors (TGF-β, VEGF, and CTGF) adhesion molecules (integrins-β1, -β3, -β6, αβ, CD11b, CD18, and ICAM-1), chemokine receptors (CCR7 and CXCR2), B cell regulators (APRIL and BLYS), T-regulatory modulators (Foxp3 and CTLA-4), antioxidants (GPX-2 and cytoglobin), and DNA repair enzymes (GADD45α). Each of the above cell types are found in oral mucosa and modulated by bacteria or an inflammatory microenvironment. FOXO1 contributes to the regulation of these cells, which collectively maintain and repair the epithelial barrier, formation and activation of Tregs that are needed to resolve inflammation, mobilization, infiltration, and activation of anti-bacterial defenses in neutrophils, and the homing of dendritic cells to lymph nodes to induce T-cell and B-cell responses. The goal of the manuscript is to review how the transcription factor, FOXO1, contributes to the activation and regulation of key leukocytes needed to maintain homeostasis and respond to bacterial challenge in oral mucosal tissues. Examples are given with an emphasis on lineage specific deletion of to explore the impact of FOXO1 on cell behavior, inflammation and susceptibility to infection. 10.3389/fimmu.2019.02530
    Advances in pathogenic mechanisms and management of radiation-induced fibrosis. Wang Bin,Wei Jinlong,Meng Lingbin,Wang Huanhuan,Qu Chao,Chen Xiang,Xin Ying,Jiang Xin Biomedicine & pharmacotherapy = Biomedecine & pharmacotherapie Radiation-induced fibrosis (RIF) is a severe long-term complication of the normal tissue following radiotherapy. Its prototypical characteristic is the persistent activation of myofibroblasts, resulting in proportion disorder and hyperplasia remodeling of the extracellular matrix comprising collagen. The continuous progress of RIF may contribute to multiple clinical manifestations such as hollow organ stenosis, impaired gaseous diffusion, and loss of tissue compliance significantly affecting the overall quality of daily life in patients with irradiated cancer. Traditionally, the potential mechanism of myofibroblast activation and differentiation has not been elucidated, and the process has been considered as static and irreversible. Recent studies have shown that RIF is a dynamic, multi-step process mediated by many regulated chemokines and cytokines. The RIF process includes release of reactive oxygen species (ROS), microvascular injury, recruitment of inflammatory cells, and activation of myofibroblasts. Numerous signaling pathways are involved in the initiation and progression of RIF, of which SMAD-regulated CTGF expression mediated by TGF-β1 is referred as the main axis. Current management strategies applied in clinical practice for patients with RIF are only supportive treatments, such as anti-inflammatory therapy using steroids; however, the efficacies achieved by these interventions are limited and unsatisfactory. Therefore, this review explores advances in RIF pathogenesis and anti-fibrosis therapy. We hope to provide clinicians with improved awareness and enormous promise in the management of RIF. 10.1016/j.biopha.2019.109560
    Caught between a "Rho" and a hard place: are CCN1/CYR61 and CCN2/CTGF the arbiters of microvascular stiffness? Chaqour Brahim Journal of cell communication and signaling The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a deformable dynamic structure that dictates the behavior, function and integrity of blood vessels. The composition, density, chemistry and architecture of major globular and fibrillar proteins of the matrisome regulate the mechanical properties of the vasculature (i.e., stiffness/compliance). ECM proteins are linked via integrins to a protein adhesome directly connected to the actin cytoskeleton and various downstream signaling pathways that enable the cells to respond to external stimuli in a coordinated manner and maintain optimal tissue stiffness. However, cardiovascular risk factors such as diabetes, dyslipidemia, hypertension, ischemia and aging compromise the mechanical balance of the vascular wall. Stiffening of large blood vessels is associated with well-known qualitative and quantitative changes of fibrillar and fibrous macromolecules of the vascular matrisome. However, the mechanical properties of the thin-walled microvasculature are essentially defined by components of the subendothelial matrix. Cellular communication network (CCN) 1 and 2 proteins (aka Cyr61 and CTGF, respectively) of the CCN protein family localize in and act on the pericellular matrix of microvessels and constitute primary candidate markers and regulators of microvascular compliance. CCN1 and CCN2 bind various integrin and non-integrin receptors and initiate signaling pathways that regulate connective tissue remodeling and response to injury, the associated mechanoresponse of vascular cells, and the subsequent inflammatory response. The CCN1 and CCN2 genes are themselves responsive to mechanical stimuli in vascular cells, wherein mechanotransduction signaling converges into the common Rho GTPase pathway, which promotes actomyosin-based contractility and cellular stiffening. However, CCN1 and CCN2 each exhibit unique functional attributes in these processes. A better understanding of their synergistic or antagonistic effects on the maintenance (or loss) of microvascular compliance in physiological and pathological situations will assist more broadly based studies of their functional properties and translational value. 10.1007/s12079-019-00529-3
    A centralized communication network: Recent insights into the role of the cancer associated fibroblast in the development of drug resistance in tumors. Leask Andrew Seminars in cell & developmental biology Although cancer cells are located within a microenvironment consisting of immune cells, endothelial cells, fibroblasts and extracellular matrix (ECM), the role of the cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) in driving tumorigenesis is relatively underinvestigated. Recent data suggest that a stiff ECM, generated by CAFs, and associated integrin-dependent signaling underlies the development of drug resistance to BRAF inhibitors in melanoma. Drugs targeting the matricellular protein CCN2 (centralized communication network 2, formerly termed connective tissue growth factor), are in clinical development for cancers; for example, FG-3019, an antibody targeting CCN2 has recently entered Phase III trials for pancreatic cancer. Recent data show that fibroblast-specific production of CCN2, which signals through integrins and whose overexpression in human melanomas is independent of BRAF mutational status, is essential for neovascularization, including vasculogenic mimicry, in melanoma. In clinical melanoma samples, a FAP/ITGA11/COL1A1/CCN2-expressing CAF population negatively correlates with disease-free survival. These data emphasize the essential role for a CCN2-expressing subset of CAFs in cancer progression and suggest that targeting the CAFs in the tumor microenvironment, for example by blocking the action of CCN2, may be useful in combination therapies to treat cancers. 10.1016/j.semcdb.2019.10.016
    Cellular and molecular actions of CCN2/CTGF and its role under physiological and pathological conditions. Kubota Satoshi,Takigawa Masaharu Clinical science (London, England : 1979) CCN family protein 2 (CCN2), also widely known as connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), is one of the founding members of the CCN family of matricellular proteins. Extensive investigation on CCN2 over decades has revealed the novel molecular action and functional properties of this unique signalling modulator. By its interaction with multiple molecular counterparts, CCN2 yields highly diverse and context-dependent biological outcomes in a variety of microenvironments. Nowadays, CCN2 is recognized to conduct the harmonized development of relevant tissues, such as cartilage and bone, in the skeletal system, by manipulating extracellular signalling molecules involved therein by acting as a hub through a web. However, on the other hand, CCN2 occasionally plays profound roles in major human biological disorders, including fibrosis and malignancies in major organs and tissues, by modulating the actions of key molecules involved in these clinical entities. In this review, the physiological and pathological roles of this unique protein are comprehensively summarized from a molecular network-based viewpoint of CCN2 functionalities. 10.1042/CS20140264
    Turner syndrome: update on biology and management across the life span. Levitsky Lynne L,Luria Anne H O'Donnell,Hayes Frances J,Lin Angela E Current opinion in endocrinology, diabetes, and obesity PURPOSE OF REVIEW:We review recent understanding of the pathophysiology, molecular biology, and management of Turner syndrome. RECENT FINDINGS:Sophisticated genetic techniques are able to detect mosaicism in one-third of individuals previously thought to have monosomy X. Prenatal detection using maternal blood should permit noninvasive detection of most fetuses with an X chromosome abnormality. Disproportionate growth with short limbs has been documented in this condition, and a target gene of short stature homeobox, connective tissue growth factor (Ctgf), has been described. Liver disease is more common in Turner syndrome than previously recognized. Most girls have gonadal failure. Spontaneous puberty and menarche is more commonly seen in girls with XX mosaicism. Low-dose estrogen replacement therapy may be given early to induce a more normal onset and tempo of puberty. Oocyte donation for assisted reproduction carries a substantial risk, particularly if the woman has known cardiac or aortic disease. Neurodevelopmental differences in Turner syndrome are beginning to be correlated with differences in brain anatomy. SUMMARY:An increased understanding of the molecular basis for aspects of this disorder is now developing. In addition, a renewed focus on health maintenance through the life span should provide better general and targeted healthcare for these girls and women. 10.1097/MED.0000000000000128
    Molecular and clinical aspects of drug-induced gingival overgrowth. Trackman P C,Kantarci A Journal of dental research Drug-induced gingival overgrowth is a tissue-specific condition and is estimated to affect approximately one million North Americans. Lesions occur principally as side-effects from phenytoin, nifedipine, or ciclosporin therapy in approximately half of the people who take these agents. Due to new indications for these drugs, their use continues to grow. Here, we review the molecular and cellular characteristics of human gingival overgrowth lesions and highlight how they differ considerably as a function of the causative drug. Analyses of molecular signaling pathways in cultured human gingival fibroblasts have provided evidence for their unique aspects compared with fibroblasts from the lung and kidney. These findings provide insights into both the basis for tissue specificity and into possible therapeutic opportunities which are reviewed here. Although ciclosporin-induced gingival overgrowth lesions exhibit principally the presence of inflammation and little fibrosis, nifedipine- and especially phenytoin-induced lesions are highly fibrotic. The increased expression of markers of gingival fibrosis, particularly CCN2 [also known as connective tissue growth factor (CTGF)], markers of epithelial to mesenchymal transition, and more recently periostin and members of the lysyl oxidase family of enzymes have been documented in phenytoin or nifedipine lesions. Some oral fibrotic conditions such as leukoplakia and oral submucous fibrosis, after subsequent additional genetic damage, can develop into oral cancer. Since many pathways are shared, the study of gingival fibrosis and comparisons with characteristics and molecular drivers of oral cancer would likely enhance understandings and functional roles of molecular drivers of these oral pathologies. 10.1177/0022034515571265
    Matricellular proteins of the Cyr61/CTGF/NOV (CCN) family and the nervous system. Malik Anna R,Liszewska Ewa,Jaworski Jacek Frontiers in cellular neuroscience Matricellular proteins are secreted proteins that exist at the border of cells and the extracellular matrix (ECM). However, instead of playing a role in structural integrity of the ECM, these proteins, that act as modulators of various surface receptors, have a regulatory function and instruct a multitude of cellular responses. Among matricellular proteins are members of the Cyr61/CTGF/NOV (CCN) protein family. These proteins exert their activity by binding directly to integrins and heparan sulfate proteoglycans and activating multiple intracellular signaling pathways. CCN proteins also influence the activity of growth factors and cytokines and integrate their activity with integrin signaling. At the cellular level, CCN proteins regulate gene expression and cell survival, proliferation, differentiation, senescence, adhesion, and migration. To date, CCN proteins have been extensively studied in the context of osteo- and chondrogenesis, angiogenesis, and carcinogenesis, but the expression of these proteins is also observed in a variety of tissues. The role of CCN proteins in the nervous system has not been systematically studied or described. Thus, the major aim of this review is to introduce the CCN protein family to the neuroscience community. We first discuss the structure, interactions, and cellular functions of CCN proteins and then provide a detailed review of the available data on the neuronal expression and contribution of CCN proteins to nervous system development, function, and pathology. 10.3389/fncel.2015.00237
    The aqueous humor outflow pathways in glaucoma: A unifying concept of disease mechanisms and causative treatment. Braunger Barbara M,Fuchshofer Rudolf,Tamm Ernst R European journal of pharmaceutics and biopharmaceutics : official journal of Arbeitsgemeinschaft fur Pharmazeutische Verfahrenstechnik e.V Intraocular pressure (IOP) is the critical risk factor for glaucoma, a neurodegenerative disease and frequent cause of blindness worldwide. As of today, all effective strategies to treat glaucoma aim at lowering IOP. IOP is generated and maintained via the aqueous humor circulation system in the anterior eye. Aqueous humor is secreted by the ciliary processes and exits the eye through the trabecular meshwork (TM) or the uveoscleral outflow pathways. The TM outflow pathways provide resistance to aqueous humor outflow and IOP builds up in response to it. In the normal eye, the resistance is localized in the inner wall region, which comprises the juxtacanalicular connective tissue (JCT) and the inner wall endothelium of Schlemm's canal (SC). Outflow resistance in the inner wall region is lowered through the contraction of the ciliary muscle or the relaxation of contractile myofibroblasts in the posterior part of the TM and the adjacent scleral spur. Patients with primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG), the most frequent form of glaucoma, typically suffer from an abnormally high outflow resistance of the inner wall region. There is increasing evidence that the increase in TM outflow resistance in POAG is the result of a characteristic change in the biological properties of the resident cells in the JCT, which increasingly acquire the phenotype of contractile myofibroblasts. This scenario strengthens simultaneously both their actin cytoskeleton and their directly associated extracellular matrix fibrils, leads to overall stiffening of the tissue, and is modulated by transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β)/connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) signaling. Essentially comparable changes appear to occur in SC endothelial cells in glaucoma. Causative therapy concepts targeting the aqueous outflow pathways in glaucoma should aim at interfering with this process either by attenuating TM or SC stiffness, and/or by modulating TGF-β/CTGF signaling. 10.1016/j.ejpb.2015.04.029
    The TEAD Family and Its Oncogenic Role in Promoting Tumorigenesis. Zhou Yuhang,Huang Tingting,Cheng Alfred S L,Yu Jun,Kang Wei,To Ka Fai International journal of molecular sciences The TEAD family of transcription factors is necessary for developmental processes. The family members contain a TEA domain for the binding with DNA elements and a transactivation domain for the interaction with transcription coactivators. TEAD proteins are required for the participation of coactivators to transmit the signal of pathways for the downstream signaling processes. TEADs also play an important role in tumor initiation and facilitate cancer progression via activating a series of progression-inducing genes, such as CTGF, Cyr61, Myc and Gli2. Recent studies have highlighted that TEADs, together with their coactivators, promote or even act as the crucial parts in the development of various malignancies, such as liver, ovarian, breast and prostate cancers. Furthermore, TEADs are proposed to be useful prognostic biomarkers due to the ideal correlation between high expression and clinicopathological parameters in gastric, breast, ovarian and prostate cancers. In this review, we summarize the functional role of TEAD proteins in tumorigenesis and discuss the key role of TEAD transcription factors in the linking of signal cascade transductions. Improved knowledge of the TEAD proteins will be helpful for deep understanding of the molecular mechanisms of tumorigenesis and identifying ideal predictive or prognostic biomarkers, even providing clinical translation for anticancer therapy in human cancers. 10.3390/ijms17010138
    New frontiers in fibrotic disease therapies: The focus of the Joan and Joel Rosenbloom Center for Fibrotic Diseases at Thomas Jefferson University. Rosenbloom Joel,Ren Shumei,Macarak Edward Matrix biology : journal of the International Society for Matrix Biology Fibrotic diseases constitute a world-wide major health problem, but research support remains inadequate in comparison to the need. Although considerable understanding of the pathogenesis of fibrotic reactions has been attained, no completely effective therapies exist. Although fibrotic disorders are diverse, it is universally appreciated that a particular cell type with unique characteristics, the myofibroblast, is responsible for replacement of functioning tissue with non-functional scar tissue. Understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for the creation of myofibroblasts and their activities is central to the development of therapies. Critical signaling cascades, initiated primarily by TGF-β, but also involving other cytokines which stimulate pro-fibrotic reactions in the myofibroblast, offer potential therapeutic targets. However, because of the multiplicity and complex interactions of these signaling pathways, it is very unlikely that any single drug will be successful in modifying a major fibrotic disease. Therefore, we have chosen to examine the effectiveness of administration of several drug combinations in a mouse pneumoconiosis model. Such treatment proved to be effective. Because fibrotic diseases that tend to be chronic, are difficult to monitor, and are patient variable, implementation of clinical trials is difficult and expensive. Therefore, we have made efforts to identify and validate non-invasive biomarkers found in urine and blood. We describe the potential utility of five such markers: (i) the EDA form of fibronectin (Fn(EDA)), (ii) lysyl oxidase (LOX), (iii) lysyl oxidase-like protein 2 (LoxL2), (iv) connective tissue growth factor (CTGF, CCNII), and (v) the N-terminal propeptide of type III procollagen (PIIINP). 10.1016/j.matbio.2016.01.011
    Cell surface receptors for CCN proteins. Lau Lester F Journal of cell communication and signaling The CCN family (CYR61; CTGF; NOV; CCN1-6; WISP1-3) of matricellular proteins in mammals is comprised of six homologous members that play important roles in development, inflammation, tissue repair, and a broad range of pathological processes including fibrosis and cancer. Despite considerable effort to search for a high affinity CCN-specific receptor akin to growth factor receptors, no such receptor has been found. Rather, CCNs bind several groups of multi-ligand receptors as characteristic of other matricellular proteins. The most extensively documented among CCN-binding receptors are integrins, including αvβ3, αvβ5, α5β1, α6β1, αIIbβ3, αMβ2, and αDβ2, which mediate diverse CCN functions in various cell types. CCNs also bind cell surface heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs), low density liproprotein receptor-related proteins (LRPs), and the cation-independent mannose-6-phosphate (M6P) receptor, which are endocytic receptors that may also serve as co-receptors in cooperation with other cell surface receptors. CCNs have also been reported to bind FGFR-2, Notch, RANK, and TrkA, potentially altering the affinities of these receptors for their ligands. The ability of CCNs to bind a multitude of receptors in various cell types may account for the remarkable versatility of their functions, and underscore the diverse signaling pathways that mediate their activities. 10.1007/s12079-016-0324-z
    Profibrotic mediators in tendon disease: a systematic review. Morita Wataru,Snelling Sarah Jane Bothwell,Dakin Stephanie Georgina,Carr Andrew Jonathan Arthritis research & therapy BACKGROUND:Tendon disease is characterized by the development of fibrosis. Transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β), bone morphogenic proteins (BMPs) and connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) are key mediators in the pathogenesis of fibrotic disorders. The aim of this systematic review was to investigate the evidence for the expression of TGF-β, BMPs and CTGF along tendon disease progression and the response of tendon cells to these growth factors accordingly. METHOD:We conducted a systematic screen of the scientific literature using the Medline database. The search terms used were "tendon AND TGF-β," "tendon AND BMP" or "tendon AND CTGF." Studies of human samples, animal tendon injury and overuse models were included. RESULTS:Thirty-three studies were included. In eight studies the expression of TGF-β, BMPs or CTGF was dysregulated in chronic tendinopathy and tendon tear patient tissues in comparison with healthy control tissues. The expression of TGF-β, BMPs and CTGF was increased and showed temporal changes in expression in tendon tissues from animal injury or overuse models compared with the healthy control (23 studies), but the pattern of upregulation was inconsistent between growth factors and also the type of animal model. No study investigated the differences in the effect of TGF-β, BMPs or CTGF treatment between patient-derived cells from healthy and diseased tendon tissues. Tendon cells derived from animal models of tendon injury showed increased expression of extracellular matrix protein genes and increased cell signaling response to TGF-β and BMP treatments compared with the control cells (two studies). CONCLUSION:The expression of TGF-β, BMPs and CTGF in tendon tissues is altered temporally during healing in animal models of tendon injury or overuse, but the transition during the development of human tendon disease is currently unknown. Findings from this systematic review suggest a potential and compelling role for TGF-β, BMPs and CTGF in tendon disease; however, there is a paucity of studies analyzing their expression and stimulated cellular response in well-phenotyped human samples. Future work should investigate the dynamic expression of these fibrotic growth factors and their interaction with tendon cells using patient samples at different stages of human tendon disease. 10.1186/s13075-016-1165-0
    Breast cancer osteomimicry and its role in bone specific metastasis; an integrative, systematic review of preclinical evidence. Awolaran Olugbenga,Brooks Susan A,Lavender Verna Breast (Edinburgh, Scotland) Metastasis accounts for most of the deaths from breast cancer and the preference of invasive breast cancer metastasising to bone has been widely reported. However, the biological basis of breast cancer osteotropism is not fully understood. This paper provides, for the first time, an integrative, systematic review of evidence of molecular factors that have functional roles in the homing of metastatic breast cancer to the bone. Pubmed, Web of Science and EBSCOhost were searched using keywords and synonyms for molecular, metastasis, breast cancer and bone to identify articles published between January 2004 and August 2016. 4491 potentially relevant citations were retrieved. 63 articles met the inclusion criteria, which were primary studies reporting evidence of molecular factors that have functional roles in predisposing breast cancer bone metastasis in vivo. 12 of those 63 articles that additionally met quality criteria were included in the review. Extracted data were tabulated and key findings that indicated biological mechanisms involved in breast cancer metastasis to bone were synthesised. 15 proteins expressed by breast cancer cells were identified as factors that mediate breast cancer bone metastasis: ICAM-1, cadherin-11, osteoactivin, bone sialoprotein, CCN3, IL-11, CCL2, CITED2, CXCR4, CTGF, OPN, CXCR1, TWIST1, adrenomedullin and Enpp1. Upregulation or overexpression of one or more of them by breast cancer cells resulted in increased breast cancer metastasis to bone in vivo, except for CCL2 where bone-metastatic cells showed a reduced expression of this factor. All factors identified, here expressed by breast cancer cells, are proteins that are normally expressed in the bone microenvironment and linked to physiologic bone functions. All have a functional role in one of more of the following: cell proliferation and differentiation, bone mineralization and remodelling, cell adhesion and/or chemokine signalling. Six of them (cadherin-11, ICAM-1, OPN, CXCR1, CCN3 and osteoactivin) have a reported function in cell adhesion and another eight (CCN3, osteoactivin, Enpp1, IL-11, CTGF, TWIST1, adrenomedullin and CITED2) are reported to be involved in cell proliferation and differentiation. This review collates and synthesises published evidence to increase our understanding of the biology of breast cancer osteomimicry in the development of bone metastasis. Findings of this review suggest that changes in expression of proteins in breast cancer cells that confer osteomimicry facilitate homing to bone to enable the development of bone metastasis. 10.1016/j.breast.2016.09.017
    The pancreatic cancer microenvironment: A true double agent. Melstrom Laleh G,Salazar Marcela D,Diamond Don J Journal of surgical oncology The tumor microenvironment in pancreatic cancer is a complex balance of pro- and anti-tumor components. The dense desmoplasia consists of immune cells, extracellular matrix, growth factors, cytokines, and cancer associated fibroblasts (CAF) or pancreatic stellate cells (PSC). There are a multitude of targets including hyaluronan, angiogenesis, focal adhesion kinase (FAK), connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), CD40, chemokine (C-X-C motif) receptor 4 (CXCR-4), immunotherapy, and Vitamin D. The developing clinical therapeutics will be reviewed. 10.1002/jso.24643
    Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) in age-related vascular pathologies. Ungvari Zoltan,Valcarcel-Ares Marta Noa,Tarantini Stefano,Yabluchanskiy Andriy,Fülöp Gábor A,Kiss Tamas,Csiszar Anna GeroScience Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF, also known as CCN2) is a matricellular protein expressed in the vascular wall, which regulates diverse cellular functions including cell adhesion, matrix production, structural remodeling, angiogenesis, and cell proliferation and differentiation. CTGF is principally regulated at the level of transcription and is induced by mechanical stresses and a number of cytokines and growth factors, including TGFβ. In this mini-review, the role of age-related dysregulation of CTGF signaling and its role in a range of macro- and microvascular pathologies, including pathogenesis of aorta aneurysms, atherogenesis, and diabetic retinopathy, are discussed. A potential role of CTGF and TGFβ in regulation and non-cell autonomous propagation of cellular senescence is also discussed. 10.1007/s11357-017-9995-5
    Cardiac Remodeling: Endothelial Cells Have More to Say Than Just NO. Segers Vincent F M,Brutsaert Dirk L,De Keulenaer Gilles W Frontiers in physiology The heart is a highly structured organ consisting of different cell types, including myocytes, endothelial cells, fibroblasts, stem cells, and inflammatory cells. This pluricellularity provides the opportunity of intercellular communication within the organ, with subsequent optimization of its function. Intercellular cross-talk is indispensable during cardiac development, but also plays a substantial modulatory role in the normal and failing heart of adults. More specifically, factors secreted by cardiac microvascular endothelial cells modulate cardiac performance and either positively or negatively affect cardiac remodeling. The role of endothelium-derived small molecules and peptides-for instance NO or endothelin-1-has been extensively studied and is relatively well defined. However, endothelial cells also secrete numerous larger proteins. Information on the role of these proteins in the heart is scattered throughout the literature. In this review, we will link specific proteins that modulate cardiac contractility or cardiac remodeling to their expression by cardiac microvascular endothelial cells. The following proteins will be discussed: IL-6, periostin, tenascin-C, thrombospondin, follistatin-like 1, frizzled-related protein 3, IGF-1, CTGF, dickkopf-3, BMP-2 and-4, apelin, IL-1β, placental growth factor, LIF, WISP-1, midkine, and adrenomedullin. In the future, it is likely that some of these proteins can serve as markers of cardiac remodeling and that the concept of endothelial function and dysfunction might have to be redefined as we learn more about other factors secreted by ECs besides NO. 10.3389/fphys.2018.00382
    The emerging role of Hippo signaling pathway in regulating osteoclast formation. Yang Wanlei,Han Weiqi,Qin An,Wang Ziyi,Xu Jiake,Qian Yu Journal of cellular physiology A delicate balance between osteoblastic bone formation and osteoclastic bone resorption is crucial for bone homeostasis. This process is regulated by the Hippo signaling pathway including key regulatory molecules RASSF2, NF2, MST1/2, SAV1, LATS1/2, MOB1, YAP, and TAZ. It is well established that the Hippo signaling pathway plays an important part in regulating osteoblast differentiation, but its role in osteoclast formation and activation remains poorly understood. In this review, we discuss the emerging role of Hippo-signaling pathway in osteoclast formation and bone homeostasis. It is revealed that specific molecules of the Hippo-signaling pathway take part in a stage specific regulation in pre-osteoclast proliferation, osteoclast differentiation and osteoclast apoptosis and survival. Upon activation, MST and LAST, transcriptional co-activators YAP and TAZ bind to the members of the TEA domain (TEAD) family transcription factors, and influence osteoclast differentiation via regulating the expression of downstream target genes such as connective tissue growth factor (CTGF/CCN2) and cysteine-rich protein 61 (CYR61/CCN1). In addition, through interacting or cross talking with RANKL-mediated signaling cascades including NF-κB, MAPKs, AP1, and NFATc1, Hippo-signaling molecules such as YAP/TAZ/TEAD complex, RASSF2, MST2, and Ajuba could also potentially modulate osteoclast differentiation and function. Elucidating the roles of the Hippo-signaling pathway in osteoclast development and specific molecules involved is important for understanding the mechanism of bone homeostasis and diseases. 10.1002/jcp.26372
    Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) from basics to clinics. Ramazani Yasaman,Knops Noël,Elmonem Mohamed A,Nguyen Tri Q,Arcolino Fanny Oliveira,van den Heuvel Lambert,Levtchenko Elena,Kuypers Dirk,Goldschmeding Roel Matrix biology : journal of the International Society for Matrix Biology Connective tissue growth factor, also known as CCN2, is a cysteine-rich matricellular protein involved in the control of biological processes, such as cell proliferation, differentiation, adhesion and angiogenesis, as well as multiple pathologies, such as tumor development and tissue fibrosis. Here, we describe the molecular and biological characteristics of CTGF, its regulation and various functions in the spectrum of development and regeneration to fibrosis. We further outline the preclinical and clinical studies concerning compounds targeting CTGF in various pathologies with the focus on heart, lung, liver, kidney and solid organ transplantation. Finally, we address the advances and pitfalls of translational fibrosis research and provide suggestions to move towards a better management of fibrosis. 10.1016/j.matbio.2018.03.007
    Roles of the TGF-β⁻VEGF-C Pathway in Fibrosis-Related Lymphangiogenesis. Kinashi Hiroshi,Ito Yasuhiko,Sun Ting,Katsuno Takayuki,Takei Yoshifumi International journal of molecular sciences Lymphatic vessels drain excess tissue fluids to maintain the interstitial environment. Lymphatic capillaries develop during the progression of tissue fibrosis in various clinical and pathological situations, such as chronic kidney disease, peritoneal injury during peritoneal dialysis, tissue inflammation, and tumor progression. The role of fibrosis-related lymphangiogenesis appears to vary based on organ specificity and etiology. Signaling via vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-C, VEGF-D, and VEGF receptor (VEGFR)-3 is a central molecular mechanism for lymphangiogenesis. Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) is a key player in tissue fibrosis. TGF-β induces peritoneal fibrosis in association with peritoneal dialysis, and also induces peritoneal neoangiogenesis through interaction with VEGF-A. On the other hand, TGF-β has a direct inhibitory effect on lymphatic endothelial cell growth. We proposed a possible mechanism of the TGF-β⁻VEGF-C pathway in which TGF-β promotes VEGF-C production in tubular epithelial cells, macrophages, and mesothelial cells, leading to lymphangiogenesis in renal and peritoneal fibrosis. Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) is also involved in fibrosis-associated renal lymphangiogenesis through interaction with VEGF-C, in part by mediating TGF-β signaling. Further clarification of the mechanism might lead to the development of new therapeutic strategies to treat fibrotic diseases. 10.3390/ijms19092487
    A Potential Link Between Oxidative Stress and Endothelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition in Systemic Sclerosis. Thuan Duong Thi Bich,Zayed Hatem,Eid Ali H,Abou-Saleh Haissam,Nasrallah Gheyath K,Mangoni Arduino A,Pintus Gianfranco Frontiers in immunology Systemic sclerosis (SSc), an autoimmune disease that is associated with a number of genetic and environmental risk factors, is characterized by progressive fibrosis and microvasculature damage in the skin, lungs, heart, digestive system, kidneys, muscles, joints, and nervous system. These abnormalities are associated with altered secretion of growth factor and profibrotic cytokines, such as transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β), interleukin-4 (IL-4), platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), and connective-tissue growth factor (CTGF). Among the cellular responses to this proinflammatory environment, the endothelial cells phenotypic conversion into activated myofibroblasts, a process known as endothelial to mesenchymal transition (EndMT), has been postulated. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) might play a key role in SSs-associated fibrosis and vascular damage by mediating and/or activating TGF-β-induced EndMT, a phenomenon that has been observed in other disease models. In this review, we identified and critically appraised published studies investigating associations ROS and EndMT and the presence of EndMT in SSc, highlighting a potential link between oxidative stress and EndMT in this condition. 10.3389/fimmu.2018.01985
    Natural Products as a Source for Antifibrosis Therapy. Chen Dan-Qian,Feng Ya-Long,Cao Gang,Zhao Ying-Yong Trends in pharmacological sciences Although fibrosis is a final pathological feature of many chronic diseases, few interventions are available that specifically target the pathogenesis of fibrosis. Natural products are becoming increasingly recognized as effective therapies for fibrosis. The highlights of common cellular and molecular mechanisms of fibrosis facilitate the discovery of effective antifibrotic drugs. We describe some new profibrotic mechanisms and corresponding therapeutic targets using natural products. Interleukin, ephrin-B2, Gas6/TAM, Wnt/β-catenin, hedgehog pathway, PPARγ, lysophosphatidic acid, and CTGF are promising therapeutic targets. Natural products can target these mediators and inhibit chronic inflammation, myofibroblast activation, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, and extracellular matrix accumulation to alleviate fibrosis. Of note, natural products have the potential to inhibit fibrosis in one organ, simultaneously targeting fibrosis in multiple other organs, which provides us new strategies to find antifibrotic drugs. 10.1016/j.tips.2018.09.002
    Role of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) and Its Ligands in Kidney Inflammation and Damage. Rayego-Mateos Sandra,Rodrigues-Diez Raul,Morgado-Pascual Jose Luis,Valentijn Floris,Valdivielso Jose M,Goldschmeding Roel,Ruiz-Ortega Marta Mediators of inflammation Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is characterized by persistent inflammation and progressive fibrosis, ultimately leading to end-stage renal disease. Although many studies have investigated the factors involved in the progressive deterioration of renal function, current therapeutic strategies only delay disease progression, leaving an unmet need for effective therapeutic interventions that target the cause behind the inflammatory process and could slow down or reverse the development and progression of CKD. Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) (ERBB1), a membrane tyrosine kinase receptor expressed in the kidney, is activated after renal damage, and preclinical studies have evidenced its potential as a therapeutic target in CKD therapy. To date, seven official EGFR ligands have been described, including epidermal growth factor (EGF) (canonical ligand), transforming growth factor-, heparin-binding epidermal growth factor, amphiregulin, betacellulin, epiregulin, and epigen. Recently, the connective tissue growth factor (CTGF/CCN2) has been described as a novel EGFR ligand. The direct activation of EGFR by its ligands can exert different cellular responses, depending on the specific ligand, tissue, and pathological condition. Among all EGFR ligands, CTGF/CCN2 is of special relevance in CKD. This growth factor, by binding to EGFR and downstream signaling pathway activation, regulates renal inflammation, cell growth, and fibrosis. EGFR can also be "transactivated" by extracellular stimuli, including several key factors involved in renal disease, such as angiotensin II, transforming growth factor beta (TGFB), and other cytokines, including members of the tumor necrosis factor superfamily, showing another important mechanism involved in renal pathology. The aim of this review is to summarize the contribution of EGFR pathway activation in experimental kidney damage, with special attention to the regulation of the inflammatory response and the role of some EGFR ligands in this process. Better insights in EGFR signaling in renal disease could improve our current knowledge of renal pathology contributing to therapeutic strategies for CKD development and progression. 10.1155/2018/8739473
    Role of CCN5 (WNT1 inducible signaling pathway protein 2) in pancreatic islets. Liu Jun-Li,Kaddour Nancy,Chowdhury Subrata,Li Qing,Gao Zu-Hua Journal of diabetes In search of direct targets of insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1 action, we discovered CCN5 (WNT1 inducible signaling pathway protein 2 [WISP2]) as a novel protein expressed in pancreatic β-cells. As a member of the "CCN" ( C ysteine-rich angiogenic inducer 61 [Cyr61], C onnective tissue growth factor [CTGF in humans], and N ephroblastoma overexpressed [Nov; in chickens]) family, the expression of CCN5/WISP2 is stimulated by IGF-1 together with Wnt signaling. When overexpressed in insulinoma cells, CCN5 promotes cell proliferation and cell survival against streptozotocin-induced cell death. The cell proliferation effect seems to be caused by AKT phosphorylation and increased cyclin D1 levels. These properties resemble those of CCN2/CTGF, another isoform of the CCN family, although CCN5 is the only one within the family of six proteins that lacks the C-terminal repeat. Treatment of primary mouse islets with recombinant CCN5 protein produced similar effects to those of gene transfection, indicating that either as a matricellular protein or a secreted growth factor, CCN5 stimulates β-cell proliferation and regeneration in a paracrine fashion. This review also discusses the regulation of CCN5/WISP2 by estrogen and its involvement in angiogenesis and tumorigenesis. 10.1111/1753-0407.12507
    Blocking fibrotic signaling in fibroblasts from patients with carpal tunnel syndrome. Yamanaka Yoshiaki,Gingery Anne,Oki Gosuke,Yang Tai-Hua,Zhao Chunfeng,Amadio Peter C Journal of cellular physiology Fibrosis of the subsynovial connective tissue (SSCT) in carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) patients is increasingly recognized as an important aspect of CTS pathophysiology. In this study, we evaluated the effect of blocking profibrotic pathways in fibroblasts from the SSCT in CTS patients. Fibroblasts were stimulated with transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1), and then treated either with a specific fibrosis pathway inhibitor targeting TGF-β receptor type 1 (TβRI), platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR), epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), or vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR). Fibrosis array and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction of fibrotic genes were evaluated. Array gene expression analysis revealed significant down-regulation of multiple fibrotic genes after treatment with TβRI, PDGFR, and VEGFR inhibitors. No array fibrotic genes were significantly down-regulated with EGFR inhibition. Further gene expression analysis of known CTS fibrosis markers collagen type I A2 (Col1), collagen type III A1 (Col3), connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), and SERPINE1 showed significantly down-regulation after TβRI inhibition. In contrast, VEGFR inhibition significantly down-regulated CTGF and SERPINE1, whereas, PDGFR and EGFR inhibition significantly down-regulated Col3. Taken together the inhibition of TβRI appears to be the primary mediator of fibrotic gene expression in fibroblasts from CTS patients. TGF-β/Smad activity was further evaluated, and as expected inhibition of Smad activity was significantly down-regulated after inhibition of TβRI, but not with PDGFR, VEGFR, or EGFR inhibition. These results indicate that local therapies specifically targeting TGF-β signaling alone or in combination offer the potential of a novel local antifibrosis therapy for patients with CTS. 10.1002/jcp.25901