Deficiency in the LIM-only protein Fhl2 impairs skin wound healing

Wixler V, Hirner S, Muller JM, Gullotti L, Will C, Kirfel J, Gunther T, Schneider H, Bosserhoff A, Schorle H, Park J, Schule R, Buettner R
Source: J Cell Biol
Publication Date: (2007)
Issue: 177(1): 163-72
Research Area:
Cancer Research/Cell Biology
Cells used in publication:
Embryonic fibroblast, mouse (MEF) immort
Species: mouse
Tissue Origin: embryo
Nucleofector® I/II/2b
After skin wounding, the repair process is initiated by the release of growth factors, cytokines, and bioactive lipids from injured vessels and coagulated platelets. These signal molecules induce synthesis and deposition of a provisional extracellular matrix, as well as fibroblast invasion into and contraction of the wounded area. We previously showed that sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) triggers a signal transduction cascade mediating nuclear translocation of the LIM-only protein Fhl2 in response to activation of the RhoA GTPase (Muller, J.M., U. Isele, E. Metzger, A. Rempel, M. Moser, A. Pscherer, T. Breyer, C. Holubarsch, R. Buettner, and R. Schule. 2000. EMBO J. 19:359-369; Muller, J.M., E. Metzger, H. Greschik, A.K. Bosserhoff, L. Mercep, R. Buettner, and R. Schule. 2002. EMBO J. 21:736-748.). We demonstrate impaired cutaneous wound healing in Fhl2-deficient mice rescued by transgenic expression of Fhl2. Furthermore, collagen contraction and cell migration are severely impaired in Fhl2-deficient cells. Consequently, we show that the expression of alpha-smooth muscle actin, which is regulated by Fhl2, is reduced and delayed in wounds of Fhl2-deficient mice and that the expression of p130Cas, which is essential for cell migration, is reduced in Fhl2-deficient cells. In summary, our data demonstrate a function of Fhl2 as a lipid-triggered signaling molecule in mesenchymal cells regulating their migration and contraction during cutaneous wound healing.