Requirement for active glycogen synthase kinase-3β in TGF-β1 upregulation of connective tissue growth factor (CCN2/CTGF) levels in human gingival fibroblasts

Maha Bahammam, Samuel A Black, Siddika Selva Sume, Mohammad A Assaggaf, Michael Faibish, Philip C Trackman
American Journal of Physiology. Cell Physiology 2013 September 15, 305 (6): C581-90
Connective tissue growth factor (CCN2/CTGF) mediates transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β)-induced fibrosis. Drug-induced gingival overgrowth is tissue specific. Here the role of the phosphoinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway in mediating TGF-β1-stimulated CCN2/CTGF expression in primary human adult gingival fibroblasts and human adult lung fibroblasts was compared. Data indicate that PI3K inhibitors attenuate upregulation of TGF-β1-induced CCN2/CTGF expression in human gingival fibroblasts independent of reducing JNK MAP kinase activation. Pharmacologic inhibitors and small interfering (si)RNA-mediated knockdown studies indicate that calcium-dependent isoforms and an atypical isoform of protein kinase C (PKC-δ) do not mediate TGF-β1-stimulated CCN2/CTGF expression in gingival fibroblasts. As glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β) can undergo phosphorylation by the PI3K/pathway, the effects of GSK-3β inhibitor kenpaullone and siRNA knockdown were investigated. Data in gingival fibroblasts indicate that kenpaullone attenuates TGF-β1-mediated CCN2/CTGF expression. Activation of the Wnt canonical pathways with Wnt3a, which inhibits GSK-3β, similarly inhibits TGF-β1-stimulated CCN2/CTGF expression. In contrast, inhibition of GSK-3β by Wnt3a does not inhibit, but modestly stimulates, CCN2/CTGF levels in primary human adult lung fibroblasts and is β-catenin dependent, consistent with previous studies performed in other cell models. These data identify a novel pathway in gingival fibroblasts in which inhibition of GSK-3β attenuates CCN2/CTGF expression. In adult lung fibroblasts inhibition of GSK-3β modestly stimulates TGF-β1-regulated CCN2/CTGF expression. These studies have potential clinical relevance to the tissue specificity of drug-induced gingival overgrowth.

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