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Cadherin-11 as a regulator of valve myofibroblast mechanobiology.

Bowler MA, Bersi MR, Ryzhova LM, Jerrell RJ, Parekh A, Merryman WD
Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2018 315 (6): H1614-H1626

PMID: 30359089 · PMCID: PMC6336968 · DOI:10.1152/ajpheart.00277.2018

Cadherin-11 (CDH11) is upregulated in a variety of fibrotic diseases, including arthritis and calcific aortic valve disease. Our recent work has identified CDH11 as a potential therapeutic target and shown that treatment with a CDH11 functional blocking antibody can prevent hallmarks of calcific aortic valve disease in mice. The present study investigated the role of CDH11 in regulating the mechanobiological behavior of valvular interstitial cells believed to cause calcification. Aortic valve interstitial cells were harvested from Cdh11, Cdh11, and Cdh11 immortomice. Cells were subjected to inflammatory cytokines transforming growth factor (TGF)-β and IL-6 to characterize the molecular mechanisms by which CDH11 regulates their mechanobiological changes. Histology was performed on aortic valves from Cdh11, Cdh11, and Cdh11 mice to identify key responses to CDH11 deletion in vivo. We showed that CDH11 influences cell behavior through its regulation of contractility and its ability to bind substrates via focal adhesions. We also show that transforming growth factor-β overrides the normal relationship between CDH11 and smooth muscle α-actin to exacerbate the myofibroblast disease phenotype. This phenotypic switch is potentiated through the IL-6 signaling axis and could act as a paracrine mechanism of myofibroblast activation in neighboring aortic valve interstitial cells in a positive feedback loop. These data suggest CDH11 is an important mediator of the myofibroblast phenotype and identify several mechanisms by which it modulates cell behavior. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Cadherin-11 influences valvular interstitial cell contractility by regulating focal adhesions and inflammatory cytokine secretion. Transforming growth factor-β overrides the normal balance between cadherin-11 and smooth muscle α-actin expression to promote a myofibroblast phenotype. Cadherin-11 is necessary for IL-6 and chitinase-3-like protein 1 secretion, and IL-6 promotes contractility. Targeting cadherin-11 could therapeutically influence valvular interstitial cell phenotypes in a multifaceted manner.

MeSH Terms (12)

Actins Animals Aortic Valve Cadherins Cells, Cultured Focal Adhesions Interleukin-6 Mechanotransduction, Cellular Mice Myofibroblasts Protein Binding Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha

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