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      Epithelial-mesenchymal transition and its implications for fibrosis

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      Journal of Clinical Investigation
      American Society for Clinical Investigation

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          Smad-dependent and Smad-independent pathways in TGF-beta family signalling.

          Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) proteins regulate cell function, and have key roles in development and carcinogenesis. The intracellular effectors of TGF-beta signalling, the Smad proteins, are activated by receptors and translocate into the nucleus, where they regulate transcription. Although this pathway is inherently simple, combinatorial interactions in the heteromeric receptor and Smad complexes, receptor-interacting and Smad-interacting proteins, and cooperation with sequence-specific transcription factors allow substantial versatility and diversification of TGF-beta family responses. Other signalling pathways further regulate Smad activation and function. In addition, TGF-beta receptors activate Smad-independent pathways that not only regulate Smad signalling, but also allow Smad-independent TGF-beta responses.
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            BMP-7 counteracts TGF-beta1-induced epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and reverses chronic renal injury.

            Bone morphogenic protein (BMP)-7 is a 35-kDa homodimeric protein and a member of the transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta superfamily. BMP-7 expression is highest in the kidney, and its genetic deletion in mice leads to severe impairment of eye, skeletal and kidney development. Here we report that BMP-7 reverses TGF-beta1-induced epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) by reinduction of E-cadherin, a key epithelial cell adhesion molecule. Additionally, we provide molecular evidence for Smad-dependent reversal of TGF-beta1-induced EMT by BMP-7 in renal tubular epithelial cells and mammary ductal epithelial cells. In the kidney, EMT-induced accumulation of myofibroblasts and subsequent tubular atrophy are considered key determinants of renal fibrosis during chronic renal injury. We therefore tested the potential of BMP-7 to reverse TGF-beta1-induced de novo EMT in a mouse model of chronic renal injury. Our results show that systemic administration of recombinant human BMP-7 leads to repair of severely damaged renal tubular epithelial cells, in association with reversal of chronic renal injury. Collectively, these results provide evidence of cross talk between BMP-7 and TGF-beta1 in the regulation of EMT in health and disease.
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              Multi-organ, multi-lineage engraftment by a single bone marrow-derived stem cell.

              Purification of rare hematopoietic stem cell(s) (HSC) to homogeneity is required to study their self-renewal, differentiation, phenotype, and homing. Long-term repopulation (LTR) of irradiated hosts and serial transplantation to secondary hosts represent the gold standard for demonstrating self-renewal and differentiation, the defining properties of HSC. We show that rare cells that home to bone marrow can LTR primary and secondary recipients. During the homing, CD34 and SCA-1 expression increases uniquely on cells that home to marrow. These adult bone marrow cells have tremendous differentiative capacity as they can also differentiate into epithelial cells of the liver, lung, GI tract, and skin. This finding may contribute to clinical treatment of genetic disease or tissue repair.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Journal of Clinical Investigation
                J. Clin. Invest.
                American Society for Clinical Investigation
                0021-9738
                December 15 2003
                December 15 2003
                : 112
                : 12
                : 1776-1784
                Article
                10.1172/JCI200320530
                14679171
                99aa1f55-48e7-4924-b960-9f21841e850a
                © 2003
                History

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