Matrix Stiffening Enhances DNCB-Induced IL-6 Secretion in Keratinocytes Through Activation of ERK and PI3K/Akt Pathway

Hyewon Chung, Seunghee Oh, Hyun Woo Shin, Yunam Lee, Hyungsuk Lee, Seung Hyeok Seok

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Matrix stiffness, a critical physical property of the cellular environment, is implicated in epidermal homeostasis. In particular, matrix stiffening during the pathological progression of skin diseases appears to contribute to cellular responses of keratinocytes. However, it has not yet elucidated the molecular mechanism underlying matrix-stiffness-mediated signaling in coordination with chemical stimuli during inflammation and its effect on proinflammatory cytokine production. In this study, we demonstrated that keratinocytes adapt to matrix stiffening by increasing cell–matrix adhesion via actin cytoskeleton remodeling. Specifically, mechanosensing and signal transduction are coupled with chemical stimuli to regulate cytokine production, and interleukin-6 (IL-6) production is elevated in keratinocytes on stiffer substrates in response to 2,4-dinitrochlorobenzene. We demonstrated that β1 integrin and focal adhesion kinase (FAK) expression were enhanced with increasing stiffness and activation of ERK and the PI3K/Akt pathway was involved in stiffening-mediated IL-6 production. Collectively, our results reveal the critical role of matrix stiffening in modulating the proinflammatory response of keratinocytes, with important clinical implications for skin diseases accompanied by pathological matrix stiffening.

Original languageEnglish
Article number759992
JournalFrontiers in Immunology
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Nov 11

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2021 Chung, Oh, Shin, Lee, Lee and Seok.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'Matrix Stiffening Enhances DNCB-Induced IL-6 Secretion in Keratinocytes Through Activation of ERK and PI3K/Akt Pathway'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this