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03 2023 Matrix biology : journal of the International Society for Matrix Biology

Tonic repression of Collagen I by the Bradykinin receptor 2 in skin fibroblasts.


Wong HH, Seet SH, Bascom CC, Isfort RJ, Bard F


Imbalance of collagen I expression results in severe pathologies. Apart from activation by the TGFβ-receptor/Smad pathway, control of collagen I expression remains poorly understood. Here, we used human dermal fibroblasts expressing a mCherry fluorescent protein driven by endogenous COL1A1 promoter to functionally screen the kinome and phosphatome. We identify 8 negative regulators, revealing that collagen is under tonic repression. The cell surface receptor BDKRB2 represses collagen I and other pro-fibrotic genes. Interestingly, it also promotes other basal membrane ECM genes. This function is independent of the natural ligand, bradykinin, and of SMAD2/3 factors, instead requiring constant ERK1/2 repression. TGFβ stimulation induces rapid BDKRB2 transcriptional downregulation. Human fibrotic fibroblasts have reduced BDKRB2 levels and enhancing its expression in keloid fibroblasts represses COL1A1. We propose that tonic signalling by BDKRB2 prevents collagen overproduction in skin fibroblasts.

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