Manchester Metropolitan University's Research Repository

    PAK proteins and YAP-1 signalling downstream of integrin beta-1 in myofibroblasts promote liver fibrosis

    Martin, K, Pritchett, J, Llewellyn, J, Mullan, AF, Athwal, VS, Dobie, R, Harvey, E, Zeef, L, Farrow, S, Streuli, C, Henderson, NC, Friedman, SL, Hanley, NA and Piper Hanley, K (2016) PAK proteins and YAP-1 signalling downstream of integrin beta-1 in myofibroblasts promote liver fibrosis. Nature Communications, 7. ISSN 2041-1723


    Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

    Download (2MB) | Preview


    Fibrosis due to extracellular matrix (ECM) secretion from myofibroblasts complicates many chronic liver diseases causing scarring and organ failure. Integrin-dependent interaction with scar ECM promotes pro-fibrotic features. However, the pathological intracellular mechanism in liver myofibroblasts is not completely understood, and further insight could enable therapeutic efforts to reverse fibrosis. Here, we show that integrin beta-1, capable of binding integrin alpha-11, regulates the pro-fibrotic phenotype of myofibroblasts. Integrin beta-1 expression is upregulated in pro-fibrotic myofibroblasts in vivo and is required in vitro for production of fibrotic ECM components, myofibroblast proliferation, migration and contraction. Serine/threonine-protein kinase proteins, also known as P21-activated kinase (PAK), and the mechanosensitive factor, Yes-associated protein 1 (YAP-1) are core mediators of pro-fibrotic integrin beta-1 signalling, with YAP-1 capable of perpetuating integrin beta-1 expression. Pharmacological inhibition of either pathway in vivo attenuates liver fibrosis. PAK protein inhibition, in particular, markedly inactivates the pro-fibrotic myofibroblast phenotype, limits scarring from different hepatic insults and represents a new tractable therapeutic target for treating liver fibrosis.

    Impact and Reach


    Activity Overview
    6 month trend
    6 month trend

    Additional statistics for this dataset are available via IRStats2.


    Repository staff only

    Edit record Edit record