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Cartilage acidic protein 1 promotes increased cell viability, cell proliferation and energy metabolism in primary human dermal fibroblasts

Gomes, H.L. ; Mestre, A. G.

Biochimie Vol. 171-172, Nº NA, pp. 72 - 78, April, 2020.

ISSN (print): 0300-9084
ISSN (online): 6183-1638

Scimago Journal Ranking: 1,25 (in 2020)

Digital Object Identifier: 10.1016/j.biochi.2020.02.008

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Cartilage acidic protein 1 (CRTAC1) is an extracellular matrix protein of human chondrogenic tissue that is also present in other vertebrates, non-vertebrate eukaryotes and in some prokaryotes. The function of CRTAC1 remains unknown but the protein’s structure indicates a role in cell-cell or cell-matrix interactions and calcium-binding. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the in vitro effects of hCRTAC1-A on normal human dermal fibroblasts (NHDF). A battery of in vitro assays (biochemical and PCR), immunofluorescence and a biosensor approach were used to characterize the protein’s biological activities on NHDF cells in a scratch assay. Gene expression analysis revealed that hCRTAC1-A protein is associated with altered levels of expression for genes involved in the processes of cell proliferation (CXCL12 and NOS2), cell migration (AQP3 and TNC), and extracellular matrix-ECM regeneration and remodeling (FMOD, TIMP1, FN1) indicating a role for hCRTAC1-A in promoting these activities in a scratch assay. In parallel, the candidate processes identified by differential gene transcription were substantiated and extended using Electric cell-substrate impedance sensing (ECIS) technology, immunofluorescence and cell viability assays. Our findings indicate that hCRTAC1-A stimulated cell proliferation, migration and ECM production in primary human fibroblasts in vitro.