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      PPAR-γ Ligands Repress TGFβ-Induced Myofibroblast Differentiation by Targeting the PI3K/Akt Pathway: Implications for Therapy of Fibrosis

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          Transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ) induced differentiation of human lung fibroblasts to myofibroblasts is a key event in the pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrosis. Although the typical TGFβ signaling pathway involves the Smad family of transcription factors, we have previously reported that peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPAR-γ) ligands inhibit TGFβ-mediated differentiation of human lung fibroblasts to myofibroblasts via a Smad-independent pathway. TGFβ also activates the phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase/protein kinase B (PI3K/Akt) pathway leading to phosphorylation of Akt S473. Here, we report that PPAR-γ ligands, 2-cyano-3,12-dioxooleana-1,9-dien-28-oic acid (CDDO) and 15-deoxy-(12,14)-15d-prostaglandin J 2 (15d-PGJ 2), inhibit human myofibroblast differentiation of normal and idiopathic pulmonary fibrotic (IPF) fibroblasts, by blocking Akt phosphorylation at Ser473 by a PPAR-γ-independent mechanism. The PI3K inhibitor LY294002 and a dominant-negative inactive kinase-domain mutant of Akt both inhibited TGFβ-stimulated myofibroblast differentiation, as determined by Western blotting for α-smooth muscle actin and calponin. Prostaglandin A 1 (PGA 1), a structural analogue of 15d-PGJ 2 with an electrophilic center, also reduced TGFβ-driven phosphorylation of Akt, while CAY10410, another analogue that lacks an electrophilic center, did not; implying that the activity of 15d-PGJ 2 and CDDO is dependent on their electrophilic properties. PPAR-γ ligands inhibited TGFβ-induced Akt phosphorylation via both post-translational and post-transcriptional mechanisms. This inhibition is independent of MAPK-p38 and PTEN but is dependent on TGFβ-induced phosphorylation of FAK, a kinase that acts upstream of Akt. Thus, PPAR-γ ligands inhibit TGFβ signaling by affecting two pro-survival pathways that culminate in myofibroblast differentiation. Further studies of PPAR-γ ligands and small electrophilic molecules may lead to a new generation of anti-fibrotic therapeutics.

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          Most cited references 45

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          Integrin-regulated FAK-Src signaling in normal and cancer cells.

          Integrins can alter cellular behavior through the recruitment and activation of signaling proteins such as non-receptor tyrosine kinases including focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and c-Src that form a dual kinase complex. The FAK-Src complex binds to and can phosphorylate various adaptor proteins such as p130Cas and paxillin. In normal cells, multiple integrin-regulated linkages exist to activate FAK or Src. Activated FAK-Src functions to promote cell motility, cell cycle progression and cell survival. Recent studies have found that the FAK-Src complex is activated in many tumor cells and generates signals leading to tumor growth and metastasis. As both FAK and Src catalytic activities are important in promoting VEGF-associated tumor angiogenesis and protease-associated tumor metastasis, support is growing that FAK and Src may be therapeutically relevant targets in the inhibition of tumor progression.
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            PPAR-gamma agonists inhibit production of monocyte inflammatory cytokines.

             Sarah Ting,  C. Jiang,  B Seed (1998)
            The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPAR-gamma) is a member of the nuclear receptor family of transcription factors, a large and diverse group of proteins that mediate ligand-dependent transcriptional activation and repression. Expression of PPAR-gamma is an early and pivotal event in the differentiation of adipocytes. Several agents that promote differentiation of fibroblast lines into adipocytes have been shown to be PPAR-gamma agonists, including several prostanoids, of which 15-deoxy-delta-prostaglandin J2 is the most potent, as well as members of a new class of oral antidiabetic agents, the thiazolidinediones, and a variety of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Here we show that PPAR-gamma agonists suppress monocyte elaboration of inflammatory cytokines at agonist concentrations similar to those found to be effective for the promotion of adipogenesis. Inhibition of cytokine production may help to explain the incremental therapeutic benefit of NSAIDs observed in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis at plasma drug concentrations substantially higher than are required to inhibit prostaglandin G/H synthase (cyclooxygenase).
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              The protein kinase encoded by the Akt proto-oncogene is a target of the PDGF-activated phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase.

              The serine/threonine protein kinase encoded by the Akt proto-oncogene is catalytically inactive in serum-starved primary and immortalized fibroblasts. Here we show that Akt and the Akt-related kinase AKT2 are activated by PDGF. The activation was rapid and specific, and it was abrogated by mutations in the Akt Pleckstrin homology (PH) domain. The Akt activation was also shown to depend on PDGFR beta tyrosines Y740 and Y751, which bind phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI 3-kinase) upon phosphorylation. Moreover, Akt activation was blocked by the PI 3-kinase-specific inhibitor wortmannin and the dominant inhibitory N17Ras. Conversely, Akt activity was induced following the addition of phosphatidylinositol-3-phosphate to Akt immunoprecipitates from serum-starved cells in vitro. These results identify Akt as a novel target of PI 3-kinase and suggest that the Akt PH domain may be a mediator of PI 3-kinase signaling.

                Author and article information

                Role: Editor
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
                6 January 2011
                : 6
                : 1
                [1 ]The Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, New York, United States of America
                [2 ]Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, New York, United States of America
                [3 ]Department of Environmental Medicine, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, New York, United States of America
                [4 ]Lung Biology and Disease Program, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, New York, United States of America
                Cairo University, Egypt
                Author notes

                Conceived and designed the experiments: AAK THT RPP PJS. Performed the experiments: AAK KLO. Analyzed the data: AAK THT KLO SBM PJS. Wrote the paper: AAK.

                Kulkarni et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
                Page count
                Pages: 11
                Research Article
                Biomacromolecule-Ligand Interactions
                Computational Biology
                Molecular Genetics
                Gene Regulation
                Molecular Cell Biology
                Signal Transduction
                Signaling Cascades
                Akt Signaling Cascade
                Polyphosphoinositide Signaling Cascade
                TGF-beta signaling cascade
                Signaling in Cellular Processes
                Antiapoptotic Signaling
                Signaling Pathways
                Phosphoinositide Signal Transduction



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