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Fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 activates a network of profibrotic signaling pathways to promote fibrosis in systemic sclerosis


Chakraborty, Debomita; Zhu, Honglin; Jüngel, Astrid; Summa, Lena; Li, Yi-Nan; Matei, Alexandru-Emil; Zhou, Xiang; Huang, Jingang; Trinh-Minh, Thuong; Chen, Chih-Wei; Lafyatis, Robert; Dees, Clara; Bergmann, Christina; Soare, Alina; Luo, Hui; Ramming, Andreas; Schett, Georg; Distler, Oliver; Distler, Jörg H W (2020). Fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 activates a network of profibrotic signaling pathways to promote fibrosis in systemic sclerosis. Science Translational Medicine, 12(563):eaaz5506.

Abstract

Aberrant activation of fibroblasts with progressive deposition of extracellular matrix is a key feature of systemic sclerosis (SSc), a prototypical idiopathic fibrotic disease. Here, we demonstrate that the profibrotic cytokine transforming growth factor β selectively up-regulates fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3) and its ligand FGF9 to promote fibroblast activation and tissue fibrosis, leading to a prominent FGFR3 signature in the SSc skin. Transcriptome profiling, in silico analysis and functional experiments revealed that FGFR3 induces multiple profibrotic pathways including endothelin, interleukin-4, and connective tissue growth factor signaling mediated by transcription factor CREB (cAMP response element-binding protein). Inhibition of FGFR3 signaling by fibroblast-specific knockout of FGFR3 or FGF9 or pharmacological inhibition of FGFR3 blocked fibroblast activation and attenuated experimental skin fibrosis in mice. These findings characterize FGFR3 as an upstream regulator of a network of profibrotic mediators in SSc and as a potential target for the treatment of fibrosis.

Abstract

Aberrant activation of fibroblasts with progressive deposition of extracellular matrix is a key feature of systemic sclerosis (SSc), a prototypical idiopathic fibrotic disease. Here, we demonstrate that the profibrotic cytokine transforming growth factor β selectively up-regulates fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3) and its ligand FGF9 to promote fibroblast activation and tissue fibrosis, leading to a prominent FGFR3 signature in the SSc skin. Transcriptome profiling, in silico analysis and functional experiments revealed that FGFR3 induces multiple profibrotic pathways including endothelin, interleukin-4, and connective tissue growth factor signaling mediated by transcription factor CREB (cAMP response element-binding protein). Inhibition of FGFR3 signaling by fibroblast-specific knockout of FGFR3 or FGF9 or pharmacological inhibition of FGFR3 blocked fibroblast activation and attenuated experimental skin fibrosis in mice. These findings characterize FGFR3 as an upstream regulator of a network of profibrotic mediators in SSc and as a potential target for the treatment of fibrosis.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Rheumatology Clinic and Institute of Physical Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > General Medicine
Language:English
Date:30 September 2020
Deposited On:27 Oct 2020 16:53
Last Modified:28 Oct 2020 21:01
Publisher:American Association for the Advancement of Science
ISSN:1946-6234
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1126/scitranslmed.aaz5506
PubMed ID:32998972

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