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Modeling paraquat-induced lung fibrosis in C. elegans reveals KRIT1 as a key regulator of collagen gene transcription.


ABSTRACT: Paraquat poisoning causes lung fibrosis, which often results in long-term pulmonary dysfunction. Lung fibrosis has been attributed to collagens accumulation, but the underlying regulatory pathway remains unclear. Here we use the genetically tractable C. elegans as a model to study collagen gene transcription in response to paraquat. We find that paraquat robustly up-regulates collagen gene transcription, which is dependent on KRI-1, a poorly studied protein homologous to human KRIT1/CCM1. KRI-1 knockdown prevents paraquat from activating the oxidative stress response transcription factor SKN-1/Nrf2, resulting in reduced collagen transcription and increased paraquat sensitivity. Using human lung fibroblasts (MRC-5), we confirm that both KRIT1 and Nrf2 are required for collagen transcription in response to paraquat. Nrf2 hyper-activation by KEAP1 knockdown bypasses KRIT1 to up-regulate collagen transcription. Our findings on the regulation of collagen gene transcription by paraquat could suggest potential strategies to treat pulmonary fibrosis caused by paraquat poisoning.

SUBMITTER: Deng G 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC7906160 | BioStudies | 2021-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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