Wound healing disorders are a therapeutic problem of increasing clinical importance involving substantial morbidity, mortality, and rising health costs. Our studies investigating flightless I (FliI), a highly conserved actin-remodelling protein, now reveal that FliI is an important regulator of wound repair whose manipulation may lead to enhanced wound outcomes. We demonstrate that FliI-deficient + /- mice are characterized by improved wound healing with increased epithelial migration and enhanced wound contraction. In contrast, FliI-overexpressing mice have significantly impaired wound healing with larger less contracted wounds and reduced cellular proliferation. We show that FliI is secreted in response to wounding and that topical application of antibodies raised against the leucine-rich repeat domain of the FliI protein (FliL) significantly improves wound repair. These studies reveal that FliI affects wound repair via mechanisms involving cell migration and proliferation and that FliI might represent an effective novel therapeutic factor to improve conditions in which wound healing is impaired.
Copyright (c) 2007 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.