The role of RhoA and cytoskeleton in myofibroblast transformation in hyperoxic lung fibrosis

Jixiang Ni, Zheng Dong, Weihong Han, Dmitry Kondrikov, Yunchao Su

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

Myofibroblast transformation is a key process in the pathogenesis of lung fibrosis. We have previously reported that hyperoxia induces RhoA activation in HFL-1 lung fibroblasts and RhoA mediates collagen synthesis in hyperoxic lung fibrosis. In this study, we investigated the role of RhoA and actin cytoskeleton in hyperoxia-induced myofibroblast transformation. Exposure of HFL-1 lung fibroblasts to hyperoxia stimulated actin filament formation, shift of G-actin to F-actin, nuclear colocalization of myocardin-related transcription factor-A (MRTF-A), recruitment of MRTF-A to the α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) gene promoter, myofibroblast transformation, and collagen-I synthesis. Inhibition of RhoA by C3 transferase CT-04 or dominant-negative RhoA mutant T19N, and inhibition of ROCK by Y27632, prevented myofibroblast transformation and collagen-I synthesis. Moreover, inhibition of RhoA by CT-04 prevented hyperoxia-induced actin filament formation, shift of G-actin to F-actin, and nuclear colocalization of MRTF-A. In addition, disrupting actin filaments with cytochalasin D or scavenging reactive oxygen species (ROS) with tiron attenuated actin filament formation, nuclear colocalization of MRTF-A, myofibroblast transformation, and collagen-I synthesis. Furthermore, overexpression of constitutively active RhoA mutant Q63L or stabilization of actin filaments recapitulated the effects of hyperoxia on the actin cytoskeleton and nuclear colocalization of MRTF-A, myofibroblast transformation, and collagen-I synthesis. Interestingly, knocking down MRTF-A prevented hyperoxia-induced increase in the recruitment of MRTF-A to the serum response factor transcriptional complex on the α-SMA gene promoter, myofibroblast transformation, and collagen-I synthesis. Finally, Y27632 and tiron attenuated hyperoxia-induced increases in α-SMA and collagen-I in mouse lungs. Together, these results indicate that the actin cytoskeletal reorganization due to the ROS/RhoA-ROCK pathway mediates myofibroblast transformation and collagen synthesis in lung fibrosis of oxygen toxicity. MRTF-A contributes to the regulatory effect of the actin cytoskeleton on myofibroblast transformation during hyperoxia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-39
Number of pages14
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
Volume61
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 25 2013

Keywords

  • Collagen
  • Fibroblasts
  • Free radicals
  • Lung
  • MRTF-A
  • Oxygen toxicity
  • Reactive oxygen species

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology (medical)

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