Cytoglobin expression in the hepatic stellate cell line HSC-T6 is regulated by extracellular matrix proteins dependent on FAK-signalling

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  • MG Toxicology Consulting Ltd


Fibrosis is a physiological response to cellular injury in the liver and is mediated by the activation of hepatic stellate cells resulting in the replacement of hepatocytes with extracellular matrix comprised principally of collagen 1 to form a hepatic scar. Although the novel hexaco-ordinated globin cytoglobin was identified in activated hepatic stellate cells more than 10 years ago, its role in stellate cell biology and liver fibrosis remains enigmatic.

In the current study, we investigated the role of different extracellular matrix proteins in stellate cell proliferation, activation (alpha smooth muscle actin expression and retinoic acid uptake) and cytoglobin expression. Our results demonstrate that cytoglobin expression is correlated with a more quiescent phenotype of stellate cells in culture and that cytoglobin is regulated by the extracellular matrix through integrin signalling dependent on activation of focal adhesion kinase.

Although further studies are required, we provide evidence that cytoglobin is a negative regulator of stellate cell activation and therefore may represent a novel target for anti-fibrotic treatments in the future.


Original languageEnglish
Article number15
JournalFibrogenesis & Tissue Repair
Publication statusPublished - 21 Aug 2015


  • cytoglobin, fibrosis, hepatic stellate cell, liver, focal adhesion kinase

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