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After liver injury, hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) undergo a process of activation with expression of smooth muscle alpha-actin (alpha-SMA), an increased proliferation rate, and a dramatic increase in synthesis of type I collagen. The intracellular signaling mechanisms of activation and perpetuation of the activated phenotype in HSCs are largely unknown. In(More)
BACKGROUND/AIMS Liver fibrosis is characterized by accumulation of extracellular matrix proteins synthesized by activated hepatic stellate cells (HSCs). To understand molecular mechanisms of HSCs activation a comprehensive comparison of gene expression between quiescent and activated HSCs is needed. METHODS Using DNA microarrays we compared expression of(More)
BACKGROUND & AIMS During hepatic fibrogenesis, the hepatic extracellular matrix changes to fibrillar collagens types I and III, and cirrhosis is believed to produce an irreversible scar. In this study, we investigated whether gene delivery of human matrix metalloproteinase-1, which degrades collagens types I and type III, would attenuate established hepatic(More)
The hepatic stellate cell (HSC) is the primary cell responsible for the dramatic increase in the synthesis of type I collagen in the cirrhotic liver. Quiescent HSCs contain a low level of collagen alpha1(I) mRNA, while activated HSCs contain about 60- to 70-fold more of this mRNA. The transcription rate of the collagen alpha1(I) gene is only two fold higher(More)
Liver fibrosis is characterized by an increased deposition of extracellular matrix proteins, including collagen type I, by activated hepatic stellate cells (HSCs). Previous studies have shown that this increase is mediated primarily by a post-transcriptional mechanism. In particular, the RNA-binding protein alphaCP binds to the alpha1(I) collagen(More)
The stability of collagen alpha1(I) mRNA is regulated by its 5' stem-loop, which binds a cytoplasmic protein in a cap-dependent manner, and its 3'-untranslated region (UTR), which binds alphaCP. When cultured in a three-dimensional gel composed of type I collagen, mouse fibroblasts had decreased collagen alpha1(I) mRNA steady-state levels, which resulted(More)
Fibrosis results from an increase in the synthesis and deposition of type I collagen. Fibrosis is frequently associated with inflammation, which is accompanied by increased levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFalpha) and activation of the transcription factor NF-kappaB. However, several agents known to activate NF-kappaB, such as phorbol 12-myristate(More)
BACKGROUND/AIMS The activation of hepatic stellate cells is a key initiating event in hepatic fibrogenesis. Although TGFbeta1 is a potent inducer of collagen alpha1(I) expression in vitro and elevated levels of TGFbeta1 are found in patients and experimental animals with hepatic fibrosis and cirrhosis, the role of increased TGFbeta1 in the initiation of(More)
There are several independent metabolic steps that determine the level of a protein in eukaryotic cells. The steady-state level of the mRNA encoding the specific protein is determined by rate of transcription, percentage of transcripts that are ultimately processed and transported to the cytoplasm, and half-life of the mRNA in cytoplasm. The amount of(More)
Activation of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) is the central event in the development of liver fibrosis and cirrhosis. The transdifferentiation process of quiescent into activated HSCs requires a complete reprogramming in gene expression, which is governed by modulation of transcriptional activators or repressors. Using microarray analysis to identify genes(More)