Deposition of collagen-based extracellular matrix by fibroblasts during wound healing leads to scar formation--a typical outcome of the healing process in soft tissue wounds. The process can, however, be skewed in favor of tissue regeneration by manipulation of wound environment. Low oxygen conditions and supplementation with FGF2 provide extracellular cues that drive wound fibroblasts towards a pro-regenerative phenotype. Under these conditions, fibroblasts dramatically alter expression of many genes among which the most significantly deregulated are extracellular matrix and adhesion molecules. Here we investigate the mechanism of a collagen I binding integrin α11 (ITGA11) deregulation in response to low oxygen-mediated FGF2 effects in dermal fibroblasts. Using RT-PCR, qRT-PCR, Western blotting, and immunocytochemistry, we describe significant down-regulation of ITGA11. Decrease in ITGA11 is associated with its loss from focal adhesions. We show that loss of ITGA11 requires FGF2 induced ERK1/2 activity and in the presence of FGF2, ITGA11 expression cannot be rescued by TGFβ1, a potent activator of ITGA11. Our results indicate that FGF2 may be redirecting fibroblasts towards an anti-fibrotic phenotype by overriding TGFβ1 mediated ITGA11 expression.
Keywords: FIBROBLAST; FIBROBLAST GROWTH FACTOR; HYPOXIA; INTEGRIN ITGA11; TRANSFORMING GROWTH FACTOR β.
© 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.