PI3K signaling and miRNA expression during the response of quiescent human fibroblasts to distinct proliferative stimuli
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Background: Serum treatment of quiescent human dermal fibroblasts induces proliferation, coupled with a complex physiological response that is indicative of their normal role in wound-healing. However, it is not known to what extent such complex transcriptional events are specific to a given cell type and signal, and how these global changes are coordinately regulated. We have profiled the global transcriptional program of human fibroblasts from two different tissue sources to distinct growth stimuli, and identified a striking conservation in their gene-expression signatures. -- Results: We found that the wound-healing program of gene expression was not specific to the response of dermal fibroblasts to serum but was regulated more broadly. However, there were specific differences among different stimuli with regard to signaling pathways that mediate these transcriptional programs. Our data suggest that the PI3-kinase pathway is differentially involved in mediating the responses of cells to serum as compared with individual peptide growth factors. Expression profiling indicated that let7 and other miRNAs with similar expression profiles may be involved in regulating the transcriptional program in response to proliferative signals. -- Conclusion: This study provides insights into how different stimuli use distinct as well as conserved signaling and regulatory mechanisms to mediate genome-wide transcriptional reprogramming during cell proliferation. Our results indicate that conservation of transcriptional programs and their regulation among different cell types may be much broader than previously appreciated.
Section of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Institute for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Center for Systems and Synthetic Biology, University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station A4800, Austin, TX 78712-0159, USA