Int J Biol Sci 2018; 14(10):1163-1174. doi:10.7150/ijbs.25920
Topical Application of Tat-Rac1 Promotes Cutaneous Wound Healing in Normal and Diabetic Mice
1. Department of Pathology, University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO, USA.
The endogenous small GTPase, Rac1, plays a critical role during normal skin wound healing. It remains to be determined whether endogenous Rac1 can be appropriately activated in chronic wounds; if not, whether exogenous Rac1 has therapeutic effects on wound healing. Here we show that Rac1 protein levels were lower in wounds of db/db diabetic mice than wounds in wild type mice during the healing process. To assess the therapeutic potential of exogenous Rac1 in wound healing, we produced a Tat-Rac1 fusion protein that enters into cells through protein transduction. Tat-Rac1 increased proliferation and migration of keratinocytes and dermal fibroblasts in vitro. Topical application of Tat-Rac1 accelerated cutaneous wound closure in vivo in db/db mice as well as wild type mice. Further analyses revealed that Tat-Rac1 had faster re-epithelialization, higher keratinocyte proliferation and migration without an earlier onset of myofibroblast activation than vehicle treated wounds. Tat-Rac1 also reduced inflammation in wounds. Our findings revealed the failure of diabetic wounds to elevate Rac1 expression and suggested a therapeutic strategy utilizing a Rac1-based biologic to compensate for this defect thereby promoting wound healing.
Keywords: Rac1, Tat-Rac1, wound healing, diabetic wounds
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How to cite this article:
Fan B, Wang T, Bian L, Jian Z, Wang DD, Li F, Wu F, Bai T, Zhang G, Muller N, Holwerda B, Han G, Wang XJ. Topical Application of Tat-Rac1 Promotes Cutaneous Wound Healing in Normal and Diabetic Mice. Int J Biol Sci 2018; 14(10):1163-1174. doi:10.7150/ijbs.25920. Available from http://www.ijbs.com/v14p1163.htm