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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Decreased expression of inhibitory SMAD6 and SMAD7 in keloid scarring.

Keloids are benign skin tumours occurring during wound healing in genetically predisposed patients. They are characterised by an abnormal deposition of extracellular matrix components, in particular collagen. There is evidence that transforming growth factor-beta (TGFbeta) is involved in keloid formation. SMAD proteins play a crucial role in TGFbeta signaling and in terminating the TGFbeta signal by a negative feedback loop through SMAD6 and 7. It is unclear how TGFbeta signaling is connected to the pathogenesis of keloids. Therefore, we investigated the expression of SMAD mRNA and proteins in keloids, in normal skin and in normal scars. Dermal fibroblasts were obtained from punch-biopsies of keloids, normal scars and normal skin. Cells were stimulated with TGFbeta1 and the expression of SMAD2, 3, 4, 6 and 7 mRNA was analysed by real time RT-PCR. Protein expression was determined by Western blot analysis. Our data demonstrate a decreased mRNA expression of the inhibitory SMAD6 and 7 in keloid fibroblasts as compared to normal scar (p<0.01) and normal skin fibroblasts (p<0.05). SMAD3 mRNA was found to be lower in keloids (p<0.01) and in normal scar fibroblasts (p<0.001) compared to normal skin fibroblasts. Our data showed for the first time a decreased expression of the inhibitory SMAD6 and SMAD7 in keloid fibroblasts. This could explain why TGFbeta signaling is not terminated in keloids leading to overexpression of extracellularmatrix in keloids. These data support a possible role of SMAD6 and 7 in the pathogenesis of keloids.[1]


  1. Decreased expression of inhibitory SMAD6 and SMAD7 in keloid scarring. Yu, H., Bock, O., Bayat, A., Ferguson, M.W., Mrowietz, U. Journal of plastic, reconstructive & aesthetic surgery : JPRAS. (2006) [Pubmed]
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