Interaction Mechanisms Between the NOX4/ROS and RhoA/ROCK1 Signaling Pathways as New Anti- fibrosis Targets of Ursolic Acid in Hepatic Stellate Cells.

A new interesting article has been published in Front Pharmacol. 2019 May 3;10:431. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2019.00431. eCollection 2019. and titled:

Interaction Mechanisms Between the NOX4/ROS and RhoA/ROCK1 Signaling Pathways as New Anti- fibrosis Targets of Ursolic Acid in Hepatic Stellate Cells.

Authors of this article are:

Huang C, Gan D, Luo F, Wan S, Chen J, Wang A, Li B, Zhu X.

A summary of the article is shown below:

Background: Studies have shown that both NOX4 and RhoA play essential roles in fibrosis and that they regulate each other. In lung fibrosis, NOX4/ROS is located upstream of the RhoA/ROCK1 signaling pathway, and the two molecules are oppositely located in renal fibrosis. Currently, no reports have indicated whether the above mechanisms or other regulatory mechanisms exist in liver fibrosis.Objectives: To investigate the effects of the NOX4/ROS and RhoA/ROCK1 signaling pathways on hepatic stellate cell (HSC)-T6 cells, the interaction mechanisms of the two pathways, and the impact of UA on the two pathways to elucidate the role of UA in the reduction of hepatic fibrosis and potential mechanisms of HSC-T6 cell proliferation, migration, and activation.Methods: Stable cell lines were constructed using the lentiviral transduction technique. Cell proliferation, apoptosis, migration, and invasion were examined using the MTS, TdT-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling, cell scratch, and Transwell invasion assays, respectively. The DCFH-DA method was used to investigate the ROS levels in each group. RT-qPCR and western blotting techniques were utilized to assess the mRNA and protein expression in each group. CoIP and the Biacore protein interaction analysis systems were used to evaluate protein interactions.Results: The NOX4/ROS and RhoA/ROCK1 signaling pathways promoted the proliferation, migration, and activation of HSCs. UA inhibited cell proliferation, migration, and activation by inhibiting the activation of the two signaling pathways, but the mechanism of apoptosis was independent of these two pathways. The NOX4/ROS pathway was upstream of and positively regulated the RhoA/ROCK1 pathway in HSCs. No direct interaction between the NOX4 and RhoA proteins was detected.Conclusion: The NOX4/ROS and RhoA/ROCK1 signaling pathways are two critical signaling pathways in a series of behavioral processes in HSCs, and NOX4/ROS regulates RhoA/ROCK1 through an indirect pathway to control the activation of HSCs. Additionally, NOX4/ROS and RhoA/ROCK1 constitute a new target for UA antifibrosis treatment.

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This article is a good source of information and a good way to become familiar with topics such as: NOX4; RhoA; cytoskeleton; hepatic stellate cells; ursolic acid.