Loss of β1-integrin enhances TGF-β1-induced collagen expression in epithelial cells via increased αvβ3-integrin and Rac1 activity

Tomoko Hayashida*, Jonathan C.R. Jones, Carrie K. Lee, H. William Schnaper

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Transforming growth factor β(TGF-β) promotes tissue fibrosis via the receptor-specific Smad pathway and non-canonical pathways. We recently reported that TGF-β1-stimulated collagen expression by cultured kidney cells requires integrin-dependent activation of focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and consequent ERK MAP kinase activity leading to Smad3 linker region phosphorylation. Here, we defined a role for αvβ3-integrin in this non-canonical pathway. A human kidney tubular cell line in which β1-integrin was knocked down (β1-k/d) demonstrated enhanced type I collagen mRNA expression and promoter activity. A second shRNA to either αv-integrin or β3-integrin, but not to another αv-binding partner, β6-integrin, abrogated the enhanced COL1A2 promoter activity in β1-k/d cells. Although αvβ3-integrin surface expression levels were not different, αvβ3-integrins colocalized with sites of focal adhesion significantly more in β1-k/d cells, and activated αvβ3-integrin was detected only in β1-k/d cells. Further, the collagen response was decreased by a function-blocking antibody or a peptide inhibitor of αvβ3-integrin. In cells lacking αvβ3- integrin, the responses were attenuated, whereas the response was enhanced in αvβ3-overexpressing cells. Rac1 and ERK, previously defined mediators for this non-canonical pathway, showed increased activities in β1-k/d cells. Finally, inhibition of αvβ3-integrin decreased Rac1 activity and COL1A2 promoter activity in β1-k/d cells. Together, our results indicate that decreasing β1 chain causes αvβ3-integrin to become functionally dominant and promotes renal cell fibrogenesis via Rac1-mediated ERK activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30741-30751
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number40
StatePublished - Oct 1 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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