Role of Transcription Factors and MicroRNAs in Regulating Fibroblast Reprogramming in Wound Healing

Author(s): Vikrant Rai and Devendra K. Agrawal.

Non-healing diabetic foot ulcer, a chronic inflammatory disease, is a sizable clinical and economic burden to healthcare systems around the world. Chronic inflammation plays a critical role in the nonhealing pattern due to the arrest of the cellular response during wound healing in the inflammatory phase without progressing to the proliferative and remodeling phase. Fibroblasts play a critical role in all three phases of wound healing. Activation of fibroblasts in the presence of cytokines results in the formation of myofibroblast that contributes to extracellular matrix formation. Additionally, few studies documented the presence of inflammatory, angiogenic, and angiostatic fibroblast subpopulation during wound healing. Various studies have discussed the role of transcription factors and microRNA in regulating the transdifferentiation of fibroblast to myofibroblast, however, what factors regulate the reprogramming of fibroblast to inflammatory, angiogenic, and angiostatic phenotypes have not been clearly addressed in the literature. This critical review article addresses the role of transcription factors and microRNAs in regulating fibroblast to myofibroblast transdifferentiation followed by the prediction of transcription factors and microRNAs, based on the bioinformatics analysis, in regulating transdifferentiation of fibroblasts to inflammatory, angiogenic, and angiostatic subtypes. The results of in-silico networking revealed multiple new transcription factors and microRNAs and their interaction with specific markers on other fibroblasts suggesting their role in the regulation of fibroblast reprogramming.

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