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H-Ras isoform modulates extracellular matrix synthesis, proliferation, and migration in fibroblasts

AuthorsFuentes-Calvo, Isabel; Blázquez-Medela, Ana M.; Eleno, Nélida; Santos de Dios, Eugenio ; López-Novoa, José M.; Martínez-Salgado, Carlos
Issue Date2012
PublisherAmerican Physiological Society
CitationAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology 302(4): C686-C697 (2012)
AbstractRas GTPases are ubiquitous plasma membrane transducers of extracellular stimuli. In addition to their role as oncogenes, Ras GTPases are key regulators of cell function. Each of the Ras isoforms exhibits specific modulatory activity on different cellular pathways. This has prompted researchers to determine the pathophysiological roles of each isoform. There is a proven relationship between the signaling pathways of transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) and Ras GTPases. To assess the individual role of H-Ras oncogene in basal and TGF-β1-mediated extracellular matrix (ECM) synthesis, proliferation, and migration in fibroblasts, we analyzed these processes in embryonic fibroblasts obtained from H-Ras knockout mice (H-ras -/-). We found that H-ras -/-fibroblasts exhibited a higher basal phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt activation than wild-type (WT) fibroblasts, whereas MEK/ERK 1/2 activation was similar in both types of cells. Fibronectin and collagen synthesis were higher in H-ras -/-fibroblasts and proliferation was lower in Hras -/-than in WT fibroblasts. Moreover, H-Ras appeared indispensable to maintain normal fibroblast motility, which was highly restricted in H-ras -/-cells. These results suggest that H-Ras (through downregulation of PI3K/Akt activation) could modulate fibroblast activity by reducing ECM synthesis and upregulating both proliferation and migration. TGF-β1 strongly increased ERK and Akt activation in WT but not in H-ras -/-fibroblasts, suggesting that H-Ras is necessary to increase ERK 1/2 activation and to maintain PI3K downregulation in TGF-β1-stimulated fibroblasts. TGF-β1 stimulated ECM synthesis and proliferation, although ECM synthesis was higher and proliferation lower in H-ras -/-than in WT fibroblasts. Hence, H-Ras activation seems to play a key role in the regulation of these effects. © 2012 the American Physiological Society.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1152/ajpcell.00103.2011
issn: 0363-6143
e-issn: 1522-1563
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