PloS one

Transforming growth factor β1 increases p27 levels via synthesis and degradation mechanisms in the hyperproliferative gastric epithelium in rats.

PMID 25000203


Throughout postnatal development, the gastric epithelium expresses Transforming Growth Factor beta1 (TGFβ1), but it is also exposed to luminal peptides that are part of milk. During suckling period, fasting promotes the withdrawal of milk-born molecules while it stimulates gastric epithelial cell proliferation. Such response can be reversed by exogenous TGFβ1, as it directly affects cell cycle through the regulation of p27 levels. We used fasting condition to induce the hyperproliferation of gastric epithelial cells in 14-day-old Wistar rats, and evaluated the effects of TGFβ1 gavage on p27 expression, phosphorylation at threonine 187 (phospho-p27Thr187) and degradation. p27 protein level was reduced during fasting when compared to suckling counterparts, while phospho-p27Thr187/p27 ratio was increased. TGFβ1 gavage reversed this response, which was confirmed through immunostaining. By using a neutralizing antibody against TGFβ1, we found that it restored the p27 and phosphorylation levels detected during fasting, indicating the specific role of the growth factor. We noted that neither fasting nor TGFβ1 changed p27 expression, but after cycloheximide administration, we observed that protein synthesis was influenced by TGFβ1. Next, we evaluated the capacity of the gastric mucosa to degrade p27 and we recorded a higher concentration of the remaining protein in pups treated with TGFβ1, suggesting augmented stability under this condition. Thus, we showed for the first time that luminal TGFβ1 increased p27 levels in the rat gastric mucosa by up- regulating translation and reducing protein degradation. We concluded that such mechanisms might be used by rapidly proliferating cells to respond to milk-born TGFβ1 and food restriction.