Reinhardt lab establishes a new paradigm how extracellular fibrillin-1 regulates intracellular microRNAs and cell function

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Published: 8Jan2019

Fibrillins are the major components of microfibrils in the extracellular matrix of elastic and non-elastic tissues. Fibrillin-1 contains one evolutionarily conserved RGD sequence that mediates cell–matrix interactions through cell-surface integrins. The Reinhardt lab presents a novel paradigm how extracellular fibrillin-1 controls cellular function through integrin-mediated microRNA regulation. Comparative mRNA studies by global microarray analysis identified growth factor activity, actin binding and integrin binding as the most important functional groups that are regulated upon fibrillin-1 binding to dermal fibroblasts. Many of these mRNAs are targets of miRNAs that were identified when RNA from the fibrillin-1-ligated fibroblasts was analyzed by a miRNA microarray. The expression profile was specific to fibrillin-1 since interaction with fibronectin displayed a partially distinct profile. The importance of selected miRNAs for the regulation of the identified mRNAs was suggested by bioinformatics prediction and the interactions between miRNAs and mRNAs were experimentally validated. Functionally, the team shows that miR-503 controls p-Smad2-dependent TGF-β signaling, and that miR-612 and miR-3185 are involved in the focal adhesion formation regulated by fibrillin-1. In conclusion, the data demonstrate that fibrillin-1 interaction with fibroblasts regulates miRNA expression profiles which in turn control critical cell functions.

 

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