TGFβ and CCN2/CTGF mediate actin related gene expression by differential E2F1/CREB activation

Noel Faherty, Helen O'Donovan, David Kavanagh, Stephen Madden, Gareth J McKay, Alexander P Maxwell, Finian Martin, Catherine Godson, John Crean

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
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CCN2/CTGF is an established effector of TGFβ driven responses in diabetic nephropathy. We have identified an interaction between CCN2 and TGFβ leading to altered phenotypic differentiation and inhibited cellular migration. Here we determine the gene expression profile associated with this phenotype and define a transcriptional basis for differential actin related gene expression and cytoskeletal function.


From a panel of genes regulated by TGFβ and CCN2, we used co-inertia analysis to identify and then experimentally verify a subset of transcription factors, E2F1 and CREB, that regulate an expression fingerprint implicated in altered actin dynamics and cell hypertrophy. Importantly, actin related genes containing E2F1 and CREB binding sites, stratified by expression profile within the dataset. Further analysis of actin and cytoskeletal related genes from patients with diabetic nephropathy suggests recapitulation of this programme during the development of renal disease. The Rho family member Cdc42 was also found uniquely to be activated in cells treated with TGFβ and CCN2; Cdc42 interacting genes were differentially regulated in diabetic nephropathy.


TGFβ and CCN2 attenuate CREB and augment E2F1 transcriptional activation with the likely effect of altering actin cytoskeletal and cell growth/hypertrophic gene activity with implications for cell dysfunction in diabetic kidney disease. The cytoskeletal regulator Cdc42 may play a role in this signalling response.
Original languageEnglish
Article number525
JournalBMC Genomics
Publication statusPublished - 01 Aug 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Genetics

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