The extracellular matrix (ECM) is important for normal development and disease states, including inflammation and fibrosis. To understand the complex regulation of ECM, we performed a suppressor screening using Caenorhabditis elegans expressing the mutant ROL-6 collagen protein. One cuticle mutant has a mutation in dpy-23 that encodes the µ2 adaptin (AP2M1) of clathrin-associated protein complex II (AP-2). The subsequent suppressor screening for dpy-23 revealed the lon-2 mutation. LON-2 functions to regulate body size through negative regulation of the tumor growth factor-beta (TGF-β) signaling pathway responsible for ECM production. RNA-seq analysis showed a dominant change in the expression of collagen genes and cuticle components. We noted an increase in the cav-1 gene encoding caveolin-1, which functions in clathrin-independent endocytosis. By knockdown of cav-1, the reduced TGF-β signal was significantly restored in the dpy-23 mutant. In conclusion, the dpy-23 mutation upregulated cav-1 expression in the hypodermis, and increased CAV-1 resulted in a decrease of TβRI. Finally, the reduction of collagen expression including rol-6 by the reduced TGF-β signal influenced the cuticle formation of the dpy-23 mutant. These findings could help us to understand the complex process of ECM regulation in organism development and disease conditions.
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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Computer Science Applications
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry