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Promotion of β-Catenin/Forkhead Box Protein O Signaling Mediates Epithelial Repair in Kidney Injury

Padmashree Rao, Xi Qiao, Winston Hua, , Mariah Tahan, Titi Chen, Hong Yu, Xiaojun Ren, Qi Cao, Yiping Wang,
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Published: 1 June 2021
The American Journal of Pathology , Volume 191, pp 993-1009; doi:10.1016/j.ajpath.2021.03.005

Abstract: Fibrosis is characterized by progressively excessive deposition of matrix components and may lead to organ failure. Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) is a key cytokine involved in tissue repair and fibrosis. TGF-β′s profibrotic signaling pathways converge at activation of β-catenin. β-Catenin is an important transcription cofactor whose function depends on its binding partner. Promoting β-catenin binding to forkhead box protein O (Foxo) via inhibition of its binding to T-cell factor (TCF) reduces kidney fibrosis in experimental murine models. Herein, we investigated whether β-catenin/Foxo diverts TGF-β signaling from profibrotic to physiological epithelial healing. In an in vitro model of wound healing (scratch assay), and in an in vivo model of kidney injury, unilateral renal ischemia reperfusion, TGF-β treatment in combination with either ICG-001 or iCRT3 (β-catenin/TCF inhibitors) increased β-catenin/Foxo interaction, increased scratch closure by increased cell proliferation and migration, reduced the TGF-β–induced mesenchymal differentiation, and healed the ischemia reperfusion injury with less fibrosis. In addition, administration of ICG-001 or iCRT3 reduced the contractile activity induced by TGF-β in C1.1 cells. Together, our results indicate that redirection of β-catenin binding from TCF to Foxo promotes β-catenin/Foxo–mediated epithelial repair. Targeting β-catenin/Foxo may rebuild normal structure of injured kidney.
Keywords: Injury Fibrosis / model / TGF β / β catenin / Kidney Injury / catenin binding

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